HELPING OUT: While millions watched from afar aghast about the human loss and devastation caused by last month’s condo building collapse in Surfside, Fla., Talbots is among the brands pitching in with the relief efforts.
To date, 60 people have lost their lives as a result of the condo implosion that occurred on June 24. After weeks of round-the-clock search and rescue efforts by paramedics, emergency workers and law enforcement officials, Miami-Dade County officials have made the call to change the search effort to recovery from rescue. During a press conference Thursday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said 80 people are potentially unaccounted for.
Many of those who were able to escape from the Champlain Towers South lost all of their possessions. To try to help victims, Talbots is shipping more than 1,000 pieces to Young Israel Bal Harbour so the organization can donate the items to individuals who are in need. Shirts, pants, socks, jeans, pullovers and zip-front jackets will be offered in all sizes including misses, petite and plus. The Massachusetts-based retailer is sending items in summer fabrics like cottons and linens.
In addition, the company is donating gift cards that will be handed out by the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center. Talbots has sent $5,000 worth of gift cards that can be used for online or in-store purchases. The sportswear specialty retailer has two stores in Miami.
This is not the brand’s first philanthropic outreach. During the pandemic, Talbots sent hundreds of boxes of clothing to female frontline workers at hospitals in the U.S.
”For Surfside, we wanted to help and support as a company and as a philanthropic-minded brand. And we wanted to help immediately,” a Talbots spokeswoman said. “Having jumped into action during the pandemic and knowing that our donations to the frontline workers were put to use and well-received at the time, we were able to act quickly, take note of what we had in our distribution center and what was available to send as soon as possible. We wanted to quickly help during the crisis.”
It is worth noting that finding organizations to distribute the Talbots goods took some legwork. Executives at Talbots reached out to numerous synagogues, churches and organizations in the Surfside area including the American Red Cross. “They were so thankful, but they were overloaded with donations of food, clothing, bedding and other home items and more. It was beautiful to see and hear that so many donations had been provided,” the spokeswoman said. “And we were happy to connect with Aventura to send the gift cards and with Young Israel to send boxes and boxes of clothing.”
The charitable outpouring has been so strong that Florida government officials have cautioned people to be wary of fraudulent GoFundMe accounts seeking donations for victims.