ComQi’s NYC Office Pitches In To Fix Sandy’s Mess
December 21, 2012 by Dave Haynes
Here’s a nice item to wrap things up and take a few days off to eat too much and have an extra glass or three …
Some of the people at the NYC offices of software and distribution gear company ComQi took Wednesday off and headed out to Far Rockaway, out by JFK Airport, to help clean out homes that were inundated and torn apart by Hurricane Sandy.
“Upon arriving,” writes ComQi North America head Stu Armstrong, “we encountered a war zone of devastated communities; homes that were a clear display of the tragedy that took place.”
We meet with an organization called Respond and Rebuild which facilitated our task of cleaning out homes. Our expectations were far exceeded once we faced layers of mold that infested walls and floors. By the end of the day, we completely demolished the first level of 4 homes to clear the occupying toxins.
The most humbling part of the day was engaging with the families and homeowners who were alongside the volunteers as they described the hardships of the last 6 weeks. One homeowner, Maria, told us about her daily schedule post-Sandy; her sleeping arrangements are at a shelter 45 minutes away, during the day she makes phone calls to her insurance company and local charities and in the evening she works a night-shift as a nurse. Her exhaustion was evident. Though she grieved when we gutted her walls and removed her personal collections, Maria was more grateful that strangers were finally providing her long-sought aide.
In spite of the sore muscles, our day ended with a very rewarding feeling. We directly impacted the lives of people who had lost everything and gave families a sense of hope that they are not fighting the effects of Sandy alone. It took so little of our time but we did make a difference in an enormous problem. We recommend that every organization in the tri-state area, and beyond, take one day off from the work week to contribute in the Hurricane relief efforts.
Outlined are some reasons why we urge you to do this:
- An out of office environment will allow employees to connect with one another for team building;
- People are more inclined to volunteer in a group setting;
- Companies can encourage a large number of people to participate;
- One day off work will not break a company but it will make a large impact on those who need help;
- If every company in NY, NJ and CT partook, the recovery efforts would be a fraction of the time it is now.
Partook??? Oh, Stu (he was my boss for a couple of yuears way back when).
Let’s join together in the wake of Sandy to help those in need and demonstrate the healing and helping power of the human spirit.
A really great thing to do. I’d like to think I’d do the same if NYC was two hours drive, and not 12 hours, away. The guys I know in the ComQi Canada office – just up the street a few blocks – are the sort who’d have liked to be there as well.
Well done Stu, Don Lunetta, Sara Mason, John Baggott and the rest of the crew.