by Patrick McCrummen, Director of Worldwide Corporate Contributions at Johnson & Johnson
On Thursday, many people in the U.S. will give collective thanks over a shared meal with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day. Yet, for many people along the U.S. eastern seaboard, struggles remain to return to normal after one of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit the region. After witnessing the worst of Mother Nature, the best of humankind has come together, helping neighbors and communities get back on their feet.
New Jersey residents were particularly hard hit by this ferocious storm. More than 13,800 of our employees live and work in this state – where our company has called home for more than 125 years. For the many who were impacted, the Johnson & Johnson legacy of helping people recover from disaster became very personal.
In the critical days and weeks following Hurricane Sandy, Johnson & Johnson has been working with our key disaster response partners to get product and financial assistance to people in need in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Thousands of our hygiene kits, first aid items and Johnson® Baby Care kits were distributed to emergency shelters and aid distribution centers by AmeriCares, Catholic Medical Mission Board, Direct Relief International, Heart to Heart International, Inc., MAP International, and Save the Children.
November 10. Staten Island, NY Photo Courtesy: Save the Children[/caption]
In New Jersey, supplies were sent to hard hit communities in New Brunswick, Newark, Mantoloking, Old Bridge, South Amboy and South River, to name just a few. In New York, supplies were distributed in Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island. Wherever there was a need, our partners responded.
"Our disaster relief partners had our products and hygiene kits on their warehouse shelves well in advance of the storm so they could be delivered immediately,” said Bill Lin who leads the disaster relief and product donation work of the company.
In Staten Island, Save the Children delivered hygiene kits and thousands of Johnson’s® Baby “Care Kits” to parents to help them care for their children.
AmeriCares distributed over 10,000 cases of our Baby Hand and Face Wipes and thousands of hygiene kits stocked with personal care essentials like soap, shampoo and toothpaste to shelters in the region.
“For families, the personal care products in the kits are critical in ensuring health and comfort during a very challenging time,” said Garrett Ingoglia, Vice President, Emergency Response, AmeriCares.
Our partner, Heart to Heart International, received thousands of our consumer products, including about 10,000 cases of Aveeno® shampoo and body wash, to include in the hygiene kits.
Heart to Heart’s Mobile Medical Unit was positioned at a Red Cross Shelter in Long Island in the aftermath of Sandy. “It had been 48 hours since the storm hit and folks in the shelters were happy to get the kits,” said Dan Weinbaum, Director of Communications, Heart to Heart International.Employee volunteers are also stepping up. 20 employees from our NJ Skillman campus traveled to Staten Island to help clear and repair homes. Volunteer Meredith Valentine posted on our corporate Facebook page, “It was a great experience to help out today!” We heard from others on social media, too. Chris Kirchein left the following comment on our Facebook page, “Today Johnson & Johnson dropped off tons of supplies and toiletries to my buildings in Rockaway Beach. From all of us in the building, we thank you for your donations to help us out!”
So far, Johnson & Johnson has committed more than $5 million in product and financial support. Over 100,000 consumer products have been donated. We are now replenishing supplies for a second round of distribution. Our company is also matching employees’ donations to the Red Cross as well as our other disaster relief partners. You can learn more about our post hurricane support efforts by clicking on the following link:
Johnson & Johnson will continue to work with its partners to evaluate ways we can assist in the months ahead.
As you give thanks and reflect on the year as we approach the holidays, please keep a good thought for all those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving!