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  • Writer's pictureUnited Uniforms Sew Shore

Barco Nightingales Foundation Aids SWFL in Hurricane Irma Relief Efforts

Barco Uniforms, known for their line of Grey’s Anatomy scrubs, delivers 10,000 lbs. of drinkable ice to SWFL via United Uniforms in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

In February 2017, United Uniforms / Sew Shore was invited to Barco Uniforms headquarters in California.  During our events at the Barco Facility, we were introduced to the Barco Nightingales Foundation and their charitable efforts.  The Barco Nightingales Foundation was founded by Barco CEO, Michael Donner.  Mr. Donner shared a slide presentation of his relief efforts in Haiti for hot lunches and water resources.  Since our visit, we receive regular e-mails from Michael Donner and how Barco Nightingales Foundation (BNF) continues to flourish and support those in need.

September 9th, 2017 a category 5 Hurricane Irma made landfall in SWFL.  The eye passed directly over Collier County hitting Marco Island, Naples, and Bonita Springs.  Gas availability was almost non-existent, most of the county lost power, and water resources depleted as the county was placed on a boil water notice due to sewage. As the heat and humidity soared, Florida Power & Light gave estimates of power restorations at approximately September 22nd.  Many residents slept outside of their home in hopes of some breeze or airflow.  Many streets were inaccessible due to fallen trees and palms.  Though the predicted surge of 10-15′ floods was more like 4-5′, the rising water directly impacted and backed up sewage and septic systems which lead to a boil water notice and restrictions for some communities.  There is no doubt Hurricane Irma changed the lives of many, some lost everything, some were untouched.

Collectively, Collier County has done a great job of rebounding.  I’ve seen so many charitable deeds in the wake Hurricane Irma.  Gas supplies were slowly returning, the National Guard was passing out water, but the entire town was without drinkable ice.  We saw a corporate donation of a container of ice depleted in 45 minutes.  Our power was restored and we re-opened United Uniforms / Sew Shore on Monday, September 18th.  One of the first e-mails I opened was an update from Michael Donner and BNF in regards to continued support for Beaumont, TX following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. 3,000 cases of water was donated by BNF with transportation support from IMAR. Michael’s emails really started to hit home as I truly realized how he was changing lives with his support.  So I reached out to Michael Donner….

I told Michael that I felt we had a real opportunity for support in our community, primarily SE Naples.  We work closely with the Fire Departments and knew we’d have a great opportunity to distribute relief through Greater Naples Fire Department. I asked Mr. Donner if he could support us by sending drinkable ice.  We were fortunate to have water distributions but, many were still without power and had no way to freeze water, keep essentials like milk from spoiling, or cool off in the soaring temperatures.  Without hesitation, Michael Donner and BNF committed to sending 1,000 ten pound bags of drinkable ice to our designation.  With the support of Barco’s industry friend and freight partner IMAR, BNF had a refrigerated truck of drinkable ice dispatched to Greater Naples Fire Station 90 in Port of the Isles.

10,000 pounds of ice was unloaded in approximately thirty minutes by United Uniforms, IMAR, and Greater Naples Fire staff members.  Citizens loaded up their vehicles with ice and community volunteers in golf carts distributed all 10,000 pounds of ice to pitch black neighborhoods still functioning without power.  As I followed up with Mr. Donner the next morning, he’d already committed to dispatching another 1,000 bags of ten pound drinkable ice as needed.  I am amazed with Michael’s generosity and the support from Barco Nightingales Foundation.  I’m glad I reached out to them, and so thankful that they responded so quickly.  It is inspiring, it has changed my heart, and it reaffirms the real impact of BNF.  Truly amazing.

Thank you Michael Donner, thank you Barco Uniforms, and thank you Barco Nightingale Foundation.  We sincerely appreciate your support of our community here in Naples, and we support your efforts globally. We are proud to work with you, your team, and your family.

Sincerely, Jason Marshall President United Uniforms USA, Inc

We are having a special sale on all Grey’s Anatomy scrubs by Barco in appreciation for the support they’ve given our community.  Please stop by either one of our stores in Naples for a one time only sale on in-stock product through the end of September.

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