SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is organizing children’s winter apparel donations for the New York City-based charity Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) to help children in New Jersey and New York still suffering from the storm’s impact three months later.
For efficiency, retailers, manufacturers and suppliers can participate in SIA and K.I.D.S. New Year, New Start Sandy Relief Drive by sending new merchandise to the Global Experience Specialists (GES)-sponsored donation center in Denver, Colo. between January 21 and February 21. They can also drop off their donations on site during the SIA Snow Show at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo. (Jan. 31-Feb. 4).
Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, injured hundreds of people and damaged more than $60 billion in property across the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeastern regions of the United States. Many who have returned home are still without the clothing and personal items that were lost in the storm.
“Even though three months have passed, there are still huge post-storm needs to be met, particularly for kids still without the winter necessities,” said Tom McGann, president and CEO of Spyder, the company that spearheaded the New Year, New Start Sandy Relief. “Collecting new winter apparel for them will be a great way for the industry to use its unique resources to impact the lives of these children.”
The snow sports industry has been contributing to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort in various ways since the storm hit. The Snow Sports Sandy Relief Hub Facebook group, for instance, has connected snow sports industry professionals who want to support the affected communities. Kerry O’Flaherty, vice president of Eastern Winter Sports Rep Association, is one of many who have dedicated time to the relief effort.
“I’ve been out volunteering every weekend, and it’s incredible how many people still need a lot of help,” O’Flaherty said. “There are some towns on the south shore of Long Island and on the Jersey Shore where the whole infrastructure is gone. You can’t even get in there. Many people have lost everything.”
The K.I.D.S. donation program at SIA Snow Show is an efficient way for the entire industry to help with the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Apparel and financial donations of any size are welcome. “No donation is too small when we work together,” said SIA President David Ingemie.
Unused children’s winter apparel donations can be shipped to the New Year, New Start Sandy Relief donation center: Upland Distribution Center Building #2, SIA Warehouse 12650 E. 33rd Ave. Denver, CO 80011. All donations should include a packing list describing the items and their retail value. Contributors who donate more than $50 worth of clothing and accessories will receive a letter from K.I.D.S. for tax purposes. Cash donations should be sent to SIA with checks payable to K.I.D.S. All financial and clothing donations are tax deductible.