Superstorm Sandy caused the deaths of more than 150 people. It caused more than $50 billion in damages, left hundreds of thousands without power and stretched rescuers and first responders to their limits. Sandy was a disaster in the truest sense of the word.
Recovering from a disaster like Sandy is gut-wrenching and expensive. New York and New Jersey cannot possibly do it all alone, even with the help of state and federal agencies kicking in money and manpower. It’s going to take the arms of millions to pull these communities back on their feet.
Helping Sandy’s Victims
Knowing the extent of the devastation, we’re joining businesses across the U.S. in collecting supplies for victims of Sandy. That includes everything from baby formula to non-perishable food to flashlights for those still without power, which still includes thousands across the two states. We may be able to help a few neighborhoods for a few days, but if every business reading this does the same, the difference made can be truly incredible.
The need is great. For our own drive, we’ve concentrated heavily on delivering the kinds of supplies that are likely to be scarce. That includes work gloves for cleanup efforts, toilet paper and lots and lots of batteries.
The supplies themselves will be delivered by students of Portsmouth Middle School, who are traveling down beginning tomorrow to give aid for the weekend. The ability to partner with members of the community—in this case, kids who want to do good—is an incredible thing.
Direct Capital believes that charitable giving and aid should be a priority for every small business, and it’s never more important than it is during disasters. I spoke with CEO James Broom, asking him why our company has made weekly donation drives part and parcel of what we do.
“Culture is brand and brand is culture as Tony Hsieh from Zappos says,” Broom explained. “What does every business talk about delivering? Customer service. Customer service is related to charity and friendship, and charity is a virtue that both Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas wrote about. Charity is a principle of friendship.”
That principle has made the team at Direct Capital—and many other businesses—closer and more conscious of worthy charities than they would be otherwise. It’s also helped raise thousands of dollars for a host of charities and relief efforts.
“Charitable support either in effort, goods or money always creates a sense of community for those participating. By helping others without any reason beyond being helpful, a company is able to deepen its sense of cause and purpose more than it otherwise would. In addition, the sense of gratitude often delivered back to the giver is a great feeling and one of the many rewards in being charitable,” Broom said.
This is, I believe, the best argument for adding a charitable drive to your business. The size of the effort does not matter. It benefits your employees, your perception in the community and those in need of your help, and in the case of a disaster like Sandy, it can save lives.
Let us know about your charitable efforts and we’ll share them in a roundup next week. Let’s rally around the victims of Sandy.
Photo credit to iStock