Yankee Candle aids disaster relief

Yankee Candle donated a $40,000 check to support Red Cross Disaster Relief on Sept. 13. Pictured are (left to right) Rick Lee, executive director, American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter; Harlan Kent, CEO, The Yankee Candle Company Inc.; Karen Woods, director of public relations, The Yankee Candle Company Inc.; Meg McCarthy, corporate recruiter, The Yankee Candle Company Inc.; and Howard Eldridge, disaster action team volunteer, American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter.
SPRINGFIELD — On Sept. 13, executives from Yankee Candle presented American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter Executive Director Rick Lee with a contribution of more than $40,000 in support of local disaster relief.

Their generous gift comes at a time when the American Red Cross is in the midst of several disaster relief operations. This summer was riddled with various life threatening disasters including the June 1 tornadoes, the microburst a few weeks later, Tropical Storm Irene, and the subsequent flooding in areas of Western Massachusetts.

Following the tornadoes that devastated Western Massachusetts on June 1, Yankee Candle’s leadership organized an outreach campaign to raise funds to support local disaster relief in our communities.

Their efforts succeeded in raising more than $40,000 earmarked for relief efforts in Hampshire and Franklin counties.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for this donation,” Lee said. “This gift will help ensure that the Red Cross is strong and ready to respond when the next disaster affects families in our hometowns — whether it be a home fire or severe thunderstorms tonight, next week, or next month.”

This gift was already put to good use when Tropical Storm Irene and the resulting flooding devastated communities in the region.

Throughout this relief operation the Red Cross has provided shelter, food, water, cleanup supplies, referral information, recovery guidance and emotional support to people throughout Franklin County.

“Through very generous donations from our employees, our company and our vendor partners we are pleased to contribute this money to the American Red Cross to help families impacted in Franklin and Hampshire County,” Karen Woods, director of public relations, The Yankee Candle Company Inc., said. “Many of our employees live in the areas touched by the tornado and the hurricane and it is important for us to come together and help those communities any way we are able.”

To make a donation to disaster relief, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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