Katrina Donations News Update

September 9, 2005

Katrina Donations News Update

Many companies and groups have organized efforts or made donations to help those hurt by the devastation along the Gulf Coast caused by Hurricane Katrina. Here's an update:

  • Stuller Inc., located in Lafayette, LA, nearby the destruction, offered a way for overseas industry members to quickly contribute to the fund it established last week, called the Community Foundation of Acadiana/Stuller Katrina Relief Fund. One hundred percent of tax-deductible contributions made to the fund will go to helping the survivors of Katrina. Any contribution to the fund made outside of the United States can be wired to the Lafayette Community Foundation by following these wiring instructions: Mellon Bank ABA#: 043000261; Merrill Lynch Account#: 1011730; Community Foundation of Acadiana Account #: 516020213. Credit To: Stuller Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Industry members within the U.S. can send checks payable to: The Community Foundation of Acadiana/Stuller Katrina Relief Fund, P.O. Box 3892, Lafayette, LA 70502-3892.

  • Jewelers of America has announced the formation of a Recovery Network, designed to address the specific needs of retail jewelers as they work to recover from this disaster. JA's Recovery Network is a peer-to-peer support and mentoring service for retail jewelers who are seeking advice, experience sharing or a sympathetic ear as they work to recover and rebuild. Working closely with its regional affiliates, JA will maintain a database of members and others who are willing to offer support and advice in specific areas of business recovery. JA will receive requests for assistance and make referrals. Network members will offer insight and advice based on their own experiences or expertise for no fee. "Our intent is to build a permanent resource that retail jewelers can rely on both now and in the future when faced with natural disasters or other catastrophes," says JA President and CEO Matthew Runci. JA is inviting association members and others in the jewelry industry who have experience with rebuilding or recovering after a fire, flood, or other disaster to join its Recovery Network. Volunteers select the specific areas of support under which they wish to be listed; these areas include rebuilding/reconstruction management, employment support, housing/temporary lodging, and financing/cash flow. JA will not pre-screen or qualify volunteers. For more information, contact JA Member Services by phone (800-223-0673), fax (646-658-0256), or e-mail (members@jewelofam.org).

  • The Retail Jewelers Organization is teaming up with its independent jewelers and vendors across the nation to offer relief to the people suffering from Hurricane Katrina. Saturday, Sept. 24, has been designated the RJO Hurricane Katrina Relief Day. All members of RJO have been invited to participate in this collaborative effort with Stuller, Inc., an RJO vendor. The members of RJO have been given the charge to do one of the following on Sept. 24 to help people in the devastated areas: conduct a clothing or food drive, provide a personal monetary donation or donate a percentage of their sales on that day. All donations received will go to Stuller's partner, the Community Foundation of Acadiana.

  • The American Gem Society urged its members to make a contribution to industry efforts through the Stuller Katrina Relief Fund or via a contribution to the Red Cross Hurricane 2005 Relief fund at www.redcross.org. AGS said it will strive to keep everyone informed and updated on how fellow members are fairing and asked members to visit its website www.ags.org/katrina, for up-to-date information. Additionally, AGS will post listings for job openings and employment opportunites for those who have been affected as they receive them. If you have information to post, please contact Mindy Layton (702) 255-6500, ext. 1014 or email mlayton@ags.org.

  • Erica Courtney, fine jewelry designer and Louisiana native, announced that she has teamed up with tennis champion Serena Williams to donate the earrings the tennis ace wore during her victorious match against Francesca Schiavone at the U.S. Open on Sept. 2. The "Crown of Hearts" chandelier style earrings are made up of over 355 diamonds, approximately 4.18 carats in total, and set in platinum. The retail value is $30,000 for the pair. The "Crown of Hearts" earrings will be auctioned off through the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour which will be auctioning several autographed items from various players to benefit the hurricane victims at a date to be announced. All proceeds with go to benefit victims of the relief fund.

  • The Diamond Dealers Club President Jacob Banda announced an appeal to DDC club members to contribute directly to charitable institutions listed in news reports that provide relief to survivors. In announcing that the DDC is working to raise funds for those who have suffered so severely from the hurricane, Banda called on fellow diamond industry organizations, including the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, to aid those harmed by the natural disaster.

  • Sterling Jewelers Inc., the US division of London-based Signet Group plc, announced a donation of $100,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The donation will assist in the work of the Disaster Relief Fund to provide food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to thousands of people in need. "I know I reflect the feelings of all Signet and Sterling employees when I express the deepest sympathy and compassion for all people coping with the aftermath of this horrific storm," said Terry Burman, group CEO, and chairman and CEO of Sterling Jewelers Inc. "As the full effect of this natural disaster unfolds, we will explore other ways to support the economic and cultural recovery of the area. The work of the Red Cross is so vital in times of emergencies and we're proud to support them as they launch one of the largest national disaster relief efforts ever."

by Peggy Jo Donahue

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