The day after Hurricane Sandy blew through NJ, crushing many shore towns, I picked up the phone to check on my dad. He was born in Atlantic City, NJ and married my mom, a Margate girl. I was just a baby during the March ’62 storm (frequently compared to Sandy), and by the time I was five, we moved offshore, settling in the first town on the other side of the bridge. Being a stubborn seventy-five year old man, my dad would not leave his home and hunkered down for the hurricane. Thank God he made it through the storm unscathed. The morning after Sandy made landfill we discussed the news of the devastation and the shocking pictures we saw on the news. My dad’s first response, stated with strong concern was, “How will they rebuild?” He answered his question in the same sentence saying, “They will, they always do.”
After the rain comes the rainbow. A glimmer of light and hope in the dark of day that everything will be ok. It’s true for nature and life. We can be paralyzed by our problems or we can be the someone who does something. Taking action and making a difference is what keeps us moving FORWARD when the storms blow in.
Here’s a few ways you can start – today.
Provide a service or product to those in need. During the storm I saw businesses posting special offers if you shopped during the storm. Really? I don’t think a natural disaster should be a theme for a sale event. You just lost me as a customer. Instead, offer a product or service to those in need. I’m proud to say our team was offering FREE candles to anyone who wanted them. Just come on by and pick them up – we’ve got ‘em.
Donate. Our team rallied together to donate a % of profits from sales after the storm. Instead of being the kind of company that profits from a disaster, you can choose to be the company that gives back. I realize you’re in business to make money, but why not generate business and give a donation to a Hurricane Relief Fund or the American Red Cross at the same time? It’s good karma, and it will come back to you times ten.
Volunteer. Rebuilding takes time. As my mom used to say, “Many hands make light work.” Roll up your sleeves and offer your assistance in your community or with a volunteer organization – everyone can do something. Collect supplies, share a link, pick up a phone, get involved. Social media makes helping easy. Look for posts on friends Facebook pages and share links and resources. “LIKE” Operation Restore Our Shore to see how you can help. Use #NJSandy (or your State) to join the discussion on Twitter. Follow The American Red Cross @RedCross and United Way @United Way on Twitter.
Lynn Bardowski is a 22 year entrepreneur, best selling author, national speaker and business coach. For insights on entrepreneurship, leadership and vision, follow her blog, milliondollarpartygirl.