Be Prepared to Lend a Hand
By Lori Trainer
Disasters like the hurricanes that hit Florida and other parts of the United States last year bring to light the importance of preparation, and can help us learn what to do and what not to do in the future. Fortunately, we usually get plenty of warning when a tropical storm or hurricane is looming, even when it’s difficult to predict the path or severity.
Other disasters are impossible to foresee. You can’t really risk-manage your way out of a fire or a lightning strike, for example.
But along with lessons, disasters can plant seeds for good. After Alabama multifamily professional Keli Lynch-Wright lost her home and possessions to a fire, she found herself helping other families in a similar predicament. She brought along her young son, and together they decided to form Hatching Hope, a nonprofit that provides necessities to families displaced by a disaster.
You may remember that after Hurricane Irma hit Florida in September, the Florida Apartment Association donated $5,000 to Hatching Hope’s Florida Fund and provided an opportunity for FAA members to donate at the FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show in October.
The FAA Product Service Council, the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando and the Bay Area Apartment Association have plans to host several service days throughout the year to pack Hatching Hope kits. These kits contain a pillow, an inflatable mattress, toiletries, and other items. There are specialized backpacks for children that include teddy bears and school supplies, and pet kits for your fur babies with a bowl, food, toys, and treats.
Sean Bailey of Apartment Life, an FAA supplier partner, has been a leader in the effort to bring Hatching Hope to Florida, and I commend him for that. I also commend all the industry professionals and volunteers whose efforts have already made a difference to families displaced by two fires: Verona at Valencia Park, a Bainbridge Companies community in Orlando, and The Place at Carrollwood, a Westdale Asset Management community in Tampa.
As multifamily professionals, we have a responsibility to take good care of our communities and companies, and to be good stewards of our employers’ business interests. And while taking this step for our residents after a disaster may not be in our job descriptions, it’s simply the human thing to do.
Many of you know I’ve always had a passion for giving others a hand up when they need it. Hatching Hope of Florida is another way we in the apartment industry can do that.
Does your company or community do something special to lend a hand? Share your “giving back” story with firstname.lastname@example.org, and you just might see yourself in the pages of this magazine or the monthly Florida APTitudes e-newsletter.
For more information on Hatching Hope, visit Hatchinghopefl.com