As I was finishing dinner on Sunday night with some neighbors, I received a call directly from my CEO. He had flown in from London that day and would be flying back out to Aruba, where our holdings company is located, on Monday.
Our Beacon Worldwide team primary resides outside of the United States due to our global initiatives with Clients. Many of these folks are originally from or have worked heavily in the New England area. These are all extremely philanthropic business figures. During a strategy session in the UK, they had suggested that we as a team do something to aid this terrible disaster. This brings my Sunday night phone call into the picture.
My CEO explained the discussion and asked that I spend the week on organizing a relief effort, primarily from the Lincoln, NH area. I proudly accepted the initiative and immediately began to plan our approach.
Later that night, the Plymouth New Hampshire Fire Department was the first to show interest in aid. Around midnight, Sunday night, the Plymouth Fire Department, North Country Center for the Arts, as well as New England Disabled sports team members were dialed into the effort and itching to help.
Fast-forwarding to Tuesday evening, 11:30PM, we have seen an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm and community desire to help our fellow Americans. What started as a small vanload of goods from Lincoln, NH to New York, has turned into over 10 drop zone locations from Bethlehem to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (in addition to Boston zones). We have received phone calls from small businesses, New Hampshire community members, New Hampshire state organizations, various town Chamber of Commerce leaders, and more asking how they can get involved.
The entire relief effort started with a few emails, social media posts, and phone calls. The message spread through re-tweets, shares, email contact list forwarding, guerilla marketing efforts, a Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce conference…how did they find out about this?!? I would imagine this would be due to our valued Plymouth and Lincoln Chamber of Commerce teams.
Loon Mountain Resort has donated many of their employee ski jackets as they received a brand new order this week! Drop zones are constantly calling to make sure we are prepared to pick up an un-imaginable amount of goods being delivered by the truckload! (UH OH!)
I suppose the point of this post is that the New Hampshire community is the most caring, generous, and patriotic group of individuals that I have ever been associated with. This includes my CEO who asked that we keep the focus of this relief to be supported by the “New Hampshire community” and not “Beacon Worldwide”. He allows and completely supports my involvement with the two largest not-for-profit organizations in northern New Hampshire and considers it a portion of my duties for our corporation.
After discussions with the FDNY and Charitable Association of New York, the major needs for their community are:
1) Non-perishable food items
2) New batteries
3) Baby diapers
4) Clean, warm winter clothing
5) Cat/dog food
Our major New Hampshire drop zones are (North to South):
1) Bethlehem Fire Department
2) Peabody & Smith Franconia
3) The Lafayette School
4) New England Disabled Sports @ Loon Mountain
5) Encore Thrift Store Lincoln
6) Price Chopper Lincoln
7) North Country Center for the Arts
8) Plymouth Fire Department
9) Wolfeboro Fire Department
Items are asked to be dropped off by Friday 10AM in boxes or bags labeled with contents, your full name, and email address. We will be documenting the complete relief efforts with video interviews, photos, updates and more. These can be found via the Beacon Worldwide facebook page and will also be emailed once our mission is complete.
Items will be picked up on Friday and delivered Saturday to the FDNY, Charitable Services of New York, and the Mastic Beach Nutrition Ctr.
NEW HAMPSHIRE ROCKS!