Apple's retail arm aids Japanese employees after earthquake
by Josh Helfferich (RSS feed) on Mar 14th 2011 at 10:00PM
Earlier today, Kevin Rose published a set of emails he's received that really shine a light on how far Apple has gone to help out those in need during the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake. The account is that of an Apple Store manager somewhere in Tokyo who has been overseeing his store through the disaster.
Just after the earthquake, hundreds of people crowded around Apple Stores to use the internet connections (Rose's correspondent suggests that there's a lack of free WiFi in Japan, making the Apple Stores natural gathering places). Using Skype and FaceTime, victims were able to contact family members and even regroup at the stores.
According to the letters, Apple retail stores in Japan have become a sort of safe haven for lots of Apple employees (both retail and corporate) and their families since the quake hit. Apple Japan has been footing the bill for food, water, supplies, and even hotel rooms for those in need, stating that their "safety is most important."
As public transportation systems have been mostly down, Apple has offered to pay for any and all expenses that may occur should an employee attempt to travel back home through alternate means.
This is why I love this company: Apple gets it. Money isn't everything -- people are. That's what's important, and it's good to see them following through on that belief.