The 24-hour news coverage of Superstorm Sandy making landfall in New York and New Jersey in October 2012 may be gone and forgotten, but the resulting devastation is still very much a reality for many. The impact was monumental with over 100,000 residences damaged or destroyed, and up to 2,000,000 people left without power and heat during harsh weather conditions. More than a hundred lives were lost. Many of those families impacted by Sandy are still unable to return to their homes over a year later.
In November, we went to Rockaway Peninsula to find out how we could help. What we saw there was devastating and we knew we needed to get involved. The question was how to effectively make a difference in the quickest way possible. The answer came with a familiar face. As many of you know, AFR has been involved for several years with the St. Bernard Project in New Orleans helping to rebuild and furnish homes for families of Hurricane Katrina. Since Sandy, SBP has expanded their efforts to the East Coast and we are excited to announce that we will again partner with them and their local facing organization, Friends of Rockaway to help our neighbors right here at home.
We’ve decided to attack the undertaking on more than one front. To start our efforts, we are donating $20,000 to the St. Bernard Project to help rebuild one family home and then fully furnish it.
Additionally, for every month of 2014, we are going to give a $1,000 gift certificate for our Clearance Center to use toward sofas, tables, bedroom furniture and more and then deliver it to them. On top of that, some of our long time vendor partners have graciously joined with our effort. Sealy Mattress of New Jersey has donated twelve-queen size mattress and box springs and Zuo Modern has donated twelve dinette sets.
We will also offer a discount on furnishings to all St. Bernard Project clients.
Lastly, in the spring, we will be sending a team down to add boots on the ground to help with labor and rebuilding project. We’d love to have you join us, as there is so much work to do.
From our past experiences with SBP in New Orleans, we know that our efforts do really make a difference. We also know that being a part of the project changed our lives as well. We believe in partnership at AFR and our involvement with St. Bernard Project Rockaway is a part of our commitment to being a good partner not only in business but also in our communities.
It’s time to get involved and lend a hand up to make a difference. Follow our journey and join in the conversation on social media with hashtag #AFRhandsUP.