MILWAUKEE, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy has prompted Northwestern Mutual to increase its giving to the American Red Cross' disaster recovery effort. Northwestern Mutual through its Foundation, is announcing a $100,000 grant to the American Red Cross – and is challenging its 5,000 employees and 18,000 members of its network offices to match the gift dollar-for-dollar by donating through its Red Cross website. The charitable donation builds upon a two-year $500,000 Northwestern Mutual Foundation grant announced in July to strengthen the American Red Cross' Disaster Responder Program.

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More than one million of Northwestern Mutual's nearly four million policyowners live in states that were directly affected by Hurricane Sandy, including more than 375,000 clients in New York and New Jersey, the states hit hardest by the natural disaster.  Eighteen Northwestern Mutual offices in eight states (Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia) and Washington, D.C. closed temporarily during the torrential storm and flooding.

"One in four of our clients and their families were disrupted by this disaster. Mobilizing the recovery effort is deeply personal for us," said John E. Schlifske, Northwestern Mutual chairman and chief executive officer.  "This is a time for strong companies and caring individuals to do the right thing and help people who have urgent needs."

Northwestern Mutual is also urging its employees to participate in the company's upcoming blood drives, helping to stem shortfalls caused by the storm-related cancelation of 100 planned American Red Cross blood drives across the Mid-Atlantic U.S.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters. The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org.

Northwestern Mutual Foundation
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation – the largest corporate foundation in the state of Wisconsin – is to build strong, vibrant communities that serve as a legacy to future generations. The Foundation's giving is designed to create an impact on the communities where the company's employees and financial representatives live and work. In fiscal year 2012, the Foundation will contribute $16.7 million to nonprofit organizations across the country.

About Northwestern Mutual
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – among the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2012 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 155 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time.  Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

SOURCE Northwestern Mutual