NEW ORLEANS - The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at promoting research and educational opportunities for the advancement of facility management, and Grainger, a leading distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, joined forces to help the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) get back on its feet. Hurricane Katrina rendered more than 20 of New Orleans’ 33 fire stations inoperable - many of these fire stations remain uninhabitable today, desperately in need of repair.
Following IFMA’s World Workplace 2007 Conference & Expo, the IFMA Foundation held its Volunteer Rebuild Project benefiting the NOFD. More than 130 volunteers spent a day cleaning, painting, and repairing six local fire stations damaged by Katrina. To help kick off the project, the IFMA Foundation received financial support from Grainger, which made a $20,000 contribution to the Friends of the NOFD, a nonprofit arm of the NOFD, to help fund the Volunteer Rebuild Project.
“We are committed to ensuring a brighter future for the city of New Orleans,” said Dave Smetana, regional branch services vice president, Grainger. “Getting our local first responders back up and running is critical if we are to achieve this goal. We’ve been a proud member of this community for nearly 70 years. The Grainger team, along with our friends at the IFMA Foundation, are proud to help the New Orleans Fire Department get much needed assistance.”
“Our intentions had very humble beginnings,” said IFMA Foundation Executive Director Will Rub. “We were merely looking for an opportunity for our attendees to do their part to help New Orleans. We never anticipated that the enthusiasm would grow to the extent that it has. Grainger's donation, along with all of our generous supporters, underscores the continued commitment that the facility management industry has to the rebuilding of the city.”
Bank of the West provided transportation, food, and a monetary donation to the NOFD. Sebesta Blomberg and Associates and Allied Barton also contributed to this project.