Katrina Christmas

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina affected us all here at Buffini & Company. We knew something needed to be done to help alleviate the burden of the families involved. Brian Buffini had the great idea to organize a Christmas Party for the children affected by Katrina, and share our plan with ClubNet Members and their clients. The Katrina Christmas event was announced in the December CAP item. This CAP was a warm, uplifting piece about how our ClubNet Members were getting involved with the Gulf Coast disaster.

Katrina Christmas

We were thrilled when Children’s Network International in Los Angeles, CA, joined forces with our cause. The nonprofit group had already been to LA and MS with 5 semi-trucks full of supplies for Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Calls from ClubNet members asking what they could do to help with our efforts in the Gulf Coast region began rolling in. One family, Joyle, Jack and Ryan Egle, stepped up and offered to spearhead the logistics of the Katrina Christmas Parties. The family had lived in New Orleans and had many contacts in the area.

Jack Egle organized the parties from his home in Washington, DC, while Christina Wiersema, Corporate Giving Coordinator at Buffini & Company, was on the other coast coordinating the effort with Children’s Network International. Together, they were able to send 2,200 toys to two separate events. Robert Freeman, Director of Communication at Children’s Network International, noted, "It has been a privilege to work with the staff of Buffini & Company in the provision of a Christmas party on behalf of the children in Louisiana who suffered through Hurricane Katrina. I am impressed by Buffini & Company's 'joyful professionalism'; it is evident that they recognize that personal and professional successis incomplete without giving something back to help the lives of the less fortunate."

The first Katrina Christmas party was held at the first elementary school to open in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. There were over 400 joyful children who attended the party. The following day, another event was set up at the FEMA trailer village in Baker, LA. Jack and Ryan Egle rallied their friends and family from all over the area to come and help them with the toy distribution.

The smiles on the children’s faces were the best possible memory to have from the Katrina Christmas Fund. The volunteer group had a wonderful time, filled with laughter, hugs and a sense of pride that they were associated with such a wonderful cause and company.