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    RILA, NCA Pledge Aid to Sandy Victims

    Donations pour in to help affected areas recover

    Retailers have joined forces to help those devastated by last week’s superstorm Sandy, with pledges of more than $62 million. The storm affected 16 eastern states, directly affecting millions of customers and employees of many members of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

    RILA members have pledged $6 million-plus in cash and in-kind donations to help the recovery effort. Products donated include clothing, gift cards and electronics, while some retailers also offered store locations as donation sites where the general public could drop off personal donations and goods.

    “Retailers are a part of the communities in which they operate and they care deeply about the challenges that their employees and customers serve face in the wake of this terrible storm,” said RILA president Sandy Kennedy. “The retail industry is overwhelmingly committed to helping those affected by this devastating event and stands united to do our part.”

    In related news, The National Confectioners Association (NCA) is reaching out to help one area particularly affected by Sandy: The Rockaway Peninsula, which is located on New York’s Long Island and is part of the New York City borough of Queens. The peninsula, home to a number of individual communities, saw many homes washed away, reduced to rubble, or burnt down by transformer fires.

    Since one community, Rockaway Beach, is home to NCA member Madelaine Chocolate, the Washington, D.C.-based trade group’s Confectionery Foundation has established the Rockaway Disaster Relief Fund as a special project to help recovery efforts. Jorge Farber, Madelaine’s president and CEO, is the executor of the fund.

    “Jorge is on the ground in the community and will have a deep understanding of how our donations can best be used by various local organizations,” explained NCA president Larry Graham. “There are many people trying to help the community, but the needs are tremendous at this time, and our donations will make a difference to the local police and fire departments, food banks and community shelters.”

    All donations to the foundation are tax deductible and 100 percent of them will directly benefit the relief fund.  Donations will be accepted through Wednesday, Nov. 14.
     

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