ARA Foundation donates to the American Red Cross for disaster relief
$10,000 donated for first-responder assistance
Goliath, a massive winter storm system, caused numerous tornadoes and historic flooding during the end of December 2015 and the start of the New Year. The storm impacted more than seven states throughout the South and Midwest, resulting in many deaths.
To help those in the equipment rental industry, their families and communities that have been severely impacted by these devastating disasters, the ARA Foundation donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross for first-responder assistance on Dec. 30.
“That massive storm system caused tornadoes and torrential rain to rip through the South and Midwest, resulting in loss of life and record-breaking flooding,” says Andy Cooke, CERP, manager of Cooke Rentals in Cornelius, N.C., who serves as the chair of the ARA Foundation board of trustees.
“This devastation is impacting thousands and will have major consequences for some time to come. I felt the ARA Foundation had to act to help our industry peers, their families and their communities deal with this crisis,” Cooke says.
The ARA Foundation had been monitoring this storm system since it started Dec. 23, says Jenni Swanson, ARA Foundation director of development. “As part of the ARA Foundation’s disaster relief and recovery programs, we monitor weather-related disasters very closely and are in regular contact with our state association presidents in the affected areas to see who in the industry has been impacted and to reiterate that our disaster programs are available to them,” she says.
“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures,” says Christine Wehrman, ARA Foundation executive director and American Rental Association (ARA) CEO and executive vice president.
“The severity of this storm system came at a difficult time of year, weather-wise, when assistance is even more critical to saving lives. The flooding is occurring on already-saturated ground, which means flooding can extend into the spring months,” Wehrman says. “The tornado damage is severe. Recovery in all areas that have been impacted will be a long-term undertaking and require considerable support and assistance. The ARA Foundation is proud to be able to contribute in this way on behalf of the equipment rental industry.”
About the Author
Jennifer Venema is the Director of Association Programs for the American Rental Association and the Director of Development for the ARA Foundation.