09 Jul Rooms To Go Donation Gives Hurricane Survivors Hope and New Furniture After Devastation
Donor: Rooms to Go
Nonprofit: High Socks for Hope and Bay Education Foundation
Disaster: Hurricane Michael
Hurricane Michael was a devastating Category 4 hurricane that slammed into the Gulf Coast causing unprecedented damage. Countless families lost nearly everything they owned, but due to the lack of media attention they have received very little aid in recovery. Good360 has not forgotten the Hurricane Michael survivors and has committed to finding new and innovative ways to reach as many families as possible. Thanks to Good360, Rooms to Go, High Socks for Hope and the Bay Education Foundation we were able to help 10 teachers and their families finish off their homes with brand-new high-quality furniture.
Good360 frequently stresses the importance of collaboration in the disaster field. This project epitomizes what is possible when organizations across sectors come together to achieve a common goal. This story began when Good360 was approached by the Bay Education Foundation in December of 2018 to help with a Christmas toy giveaway. The toy giveaway became so large that it attracted the attention of news media outlets as large as Good Morning America and solidified the relationship between Good360 and the Bay County School System. Through this relationship, we learned that one of the most challenging unintended consequences of this disaster is the toll it took on the school system. Because of Hurricane Michael, nearly 600 students were displaced to other communities which forced Bay County to close 6 of their schools and reallocate the remaining students to new schools. Teachers and students alike had their worlds completely upturned in multiple aspects. Many of the teachers that have been temporarily out of a job continue to serve their students by volunteering and organizing giveaways to help them regain back some of what they lost.
Good360 saw the compassion of the teachers and wanted to help them in the same way they were helping their students and other members of their community. We approached our longstanding partner, Rooms to Go, to consider making a furniture donation to 10 teachers that were ready to receive furniture into their newly repaired homes. Rooms to Go enthusiastically heeded the call and donated every single furniture item that was requested by each of the teachers. The donation included everything from beds and dressers to dining room sets and couches.
Once Good360 confirmed the donation from Rooms to Go, we approached our partner, High Socks for Hope (HSFH), about assisting with the distribution. Good360 solidified a partnership with High Socks for Hope in early 2019. Together, we share a warehouse near the Hurricane Michael affected areas. HSFH has been an invaluable partner to Good360 and specializes in providing a hands-on approach by hand delivering and setting up all furniture donations in the recipient’s home. Good360 had the Rooms to Go furniture delivered to HSFH and from there all of the furniture was hand delivered to each family and set up in their homes so that they could go to sleep in their new beds that very night.
Many of these teachers and their families have been sleeping on the floor or on damaged mattresses since hurricane Michael hit in 2018. This donation came at the perfect time and alleviated one of the many stressors these families have had to deal with since Hurricane Michael made landfall. This donation would not have been possible if not for the communication and building of relationships that occurred between the four groups involved. Good360 is in a unique position that allows us to foster the growth of these types of relationships. We will continue to seek out those who feel as though they have been forgotten and forge the types of relationships that will allow us to respond to their needs in the most thoughtful way possible. Many thanks to Bay County Education, High Socks for Hope and Rooms To Go for their partnership and commitment!