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Hurricane Sandy Devastates Family & Children’s Service’s Thrift Store

Flooding Causes total Loss of Inventory, Agency Hopes to Reopen in the New Year

Long Branch, NJ, November 15, 2012 –Family & Children’s Service’s (FCS) popular Thrift Boutique at 307 Branchport Avenue in Long Branch remains closed for business following devastating losses resulting from Hurricane Sandy. More than four feet of water surged through the store during the storm, wiping out the extensive donated inventory and destroying walls and floors and most of the surrounding neighborhood was also flooded. FCS President & CEO Vincent D’ Elia says while the agency is thankful there was no loss of life, the damage couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“Sandy has only exacerbated the already tenuous lives of many of our clients who frequent our Thrift Boutique to shop for affordable clothing, shoes and house wares,” D’Elia says. “Just when they need us most, to have a place to go to replace the things they may have lost in the storm, we cannot be there for them. That’s what hurts the most.”

To compound the problem, the agency relies on sales revenue from The Thrift Boutique to fund FCS’s programs and services, many of which are also stretched financially as a result of the storm.

“While we hope to be back in business soon, we cannot rely on that revenue in the coming weeks and perhaps months,” D’Elia says.

But D’Elia is not discouraged, adding there’s been a tremendous outpouring of support from staff, volunteers, and the local community to return the Thrift Boutique to operation as soon as possible. Volunteers have already cleaned out the ruined inventory and the building’s owner has began repairing and replacing the damaged interior.

For the time being, the agency is asking its supporters to hold their donations until the Thrift Boutique reopens its doors in early 2013. Customers are encouraged to visit the store’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thethriftboutique for updates on the store’s renovations and information about its future grand re-opening. For information about volunteer at the Thrift Boutique, contact FCS volunteer manager Samantha White at 721-222-9111 or at swhite@fcsmonmouth.org.

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