On October 29, Hurricane Sandy came ashore just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey, inflicting heavy damage along the Eastern seaboard, with effects felt as far inland as Chicago. A number of industry companies were in its path, with businesses and employees suffering power and utility outages, transportation difficulties and property damage. The Promotional Products Disaster Recovery Foundation (PPDRF) and regional associations have steppe in offering assistance to those in need.
Through its Business Recovery Fund (BRF), the PPDRF seeks to help companies affected by natural disasters get back on their feet. The fund can help replace lost equipment and supplies such as computers, cell phones, office supplies, promotional products catalogs and samples, and provide work areas or give other assistance as needed to get a business up and running as soon as possible.
The Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) has also worked to help industry members get up and running. The regional association has reached out to businesses in areas affected by the storm to see what they need and collected support from industry members around the country for both businesses and the community. SAAGNY has approved $2,500 in emergency funds to help with the effort, while the BRF has contributed another $1,000 to date for truck rentals and supplies.
The SAAGNY Foundation, the regional association’s nonprofit division, has collected jackets, clothing and other items for those in the hardest-hit areas. SAAGNY, with the help of its membership, has created five local shipping points to gather and disperse needed items. SAAGNY members have contributed warehouse space and products, and prepared food for shelters. Starline USA (UPIC: STAR0009), for example, has donated more than 100 flashlights and lanterns to the cause.
SAAGNY is requesting contributions to help those affected, asking for gift cards to Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco and the like . SAAGNY executive director Jonathan Riegel can be contacted at:
188 Broadway, Suite 2
Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey 07677
Industry companies are also finding their own avenues to support those in need after Hurricane Sandy. HanesBrands has partnered with Fashion Delivers, a New York-based nonprofit organization that distributes apparel and home furnishings to victims of natural disasters around the world, to provide supplies in the region. The company has donated $1 million worth of Hanes and Champion fleece sweatshirts and sweatpants, as well as women’s and men’s underwear that Fashion Delivers will distribute in the region.
Last year, Emporium Leather Co., Inc./Royce Leather (UPIC: Royce) in Secaucus, New Jersey, called on the BRF when flooding following Hurricane Irene cut it off from regular shipping services. The BRF helped the company weather the storm and serve its customers without interruption. Sandy proved more damaging, destroying office and facility equipment and a considerable amount of inventory, and leaving the supplier’s warehouse a mess. The BRF contributed $3,000 to help the company meet its needs, and when Royce Leather’s insurance company stepped in, the supplier returned the BRF donation and asked that it be passed to others in need.
The PPDRF is asking for donations to ensure the fund is available to all those who need it. Financial contributions can be made online or directed to the Promotional Products Business Recovery Fund, care of PPAI RAC, 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038. This fund is a 501(c)(3) organization and all contributions are tax deductible.
The BRF has already begun disbursing money to companies in need. The fund contributed $1,000 to supplier MAC Specialties (UPIC: SPORTPRO) in Oceanside, New York, to assist its return to work after flooding damaged its business. The company has been able to reopen and is fulfilling orders. Distributor Procon Marketing (UPIC: PROCO910) in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, has received $500 from the BRF to help offset financial losses it suffered during the storm.