On June 16, a team of 115 volunteers from IFCO’s Warehouse and Logistics Management Services (WLMS) division gathered at McDonogh 42 Elementary Charter School, located in the Tremé neighborhood in the heart of New Orleans’ Seventh Ward. It serves approximately 500 students in grades Pre-K-8, 99% of whom qualify for free or reduced lunch.
McDonogh Elementary – along with the entire surrounding area – suffered devastating damage in the hurricane and was flooded by five feet of water. It reopened one year ago and restoration continues. The IFCO team painted, planted palms and flowering trees, put down 200 bags of mulch, donated a basketball goal, and partially gutted a hurricane-damaged historic home on the school property which will eventually be used as a community center.
“This August marks the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which is naturally a somber time,” said IFCO’s Vice President of WLMS and New Orleans-area resident Tony Zinna. “The people of IFCO saw this as a wonderful opportunity to look forward and channel our energies toward a positive future.”
IFCO’s volunteer effort was coordinated through Relief Spark, a grassroots non-profit organization that provides volunteer logistics to a network of non-profit organizations in New Orleans and surrounding areas.
“Relief Spark succeeds by establishing long-term relationships with families, city leaders and leading businesses such as IFCO,” said Sidney Ray-Bazan, founder and executive director of the non-profit. “We are so grateful to the people of IFCO for their dedication, passion and contribution of nearly 500 volunteer hours.”
In March, another team of 240 IFCO volunteers painted and landscaped three homes in New Orleans’ Gentilly District in partnership with Beacon of Hope Resource Center.
Through IFCO’s WORLDWIDE RESPONSIBILITY initiative, the company is a leader in social and environmental responsibility. It works with strong project partners in individual markets – such as Beacon of Hope – to expand its sphere of responsible activities. Globally, IFCO’s major social-engagement project supports Food Banks in their honorable effort to deliver food to the needy by providing reusable containers and co-financing delivery vehicles.