Ocean State Job Lot donates $160K in clothing to Philippines
FROM LEFT: David Sarlitto, head of marketing for Ocean State Job Lot; Dan Aurelio holding a picture of his wife and daughter; and Kerstin Uy-Berja, a Johnston resident, representing His Presence Church International in Woonsocket.
COURTESY OCEAN STATE JOB LOT
IN THIS PHOTO predating Typhoon Haiyan, Dan Aurelio‚Äôs wife, Catherine, and daughter, MaCatheline, enjoy calmer weather in an unspecified location in the Philippines. Aurelio has helped coordinate $160,000 worth of clothing donations from the company he works for, Ocean State Job Lot, that will be sent to provide relief to storm victims there. His family survived the storm.
NORTH KINGSTOWN ‚Äď In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, an Ocean State Job Lot employee with family ties to the Philippines is coordinating a relief effort that will provide $160,000 worth of clothing from his employer to people affected by the natural disaster.
Dan Aurelio‚Äôs Filipino wife, Catherine, and their 8-year-old daughter, MaCatheline, survived the storm, but on Nov. 8 ‚Äď the day the typhoon made landfall in the Philippines ‚Äď he witnessed the storm‚Äôs wrath via a Skype call with Catherine while planning a reunion with her in the United States this January. Catherine and her daughter live on the Filipino island of Cebu and have family located in Leyte.
Since then, Aurelio, who lives in Lincoln and has been a warehouse traffic manager at Ocean State Job Lot for nearly 20 years, decided to take action to help those in need over the next several months.
‚ÄúI saw a news photo with 30 body bags laid out on the ground and texted my pastor asking what we could do to help,‚ÄĚ recalled Aurelio, who is a member of His Presence Church International in Woonsocket. ‚ÄúThe next day, after a discussion with the clothing buyer and enthusiastic involvement from [Ocean State Job Lot] President Marc Perlman, the relief effort was underway.‚ÄĚ
The store is donating 30,000 pieces of clothing, more than 40 pallets of new casual wear suitable for use by women and men of all ages, to the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort.
On Thursday morning, members of Aurelio‚Äôs church and its sister church, Philippines International Church of Dedham, Mass., came to the Job Lot corporate warehouse in North Kingstown to receive the donation of clothing and begin preparing the items for delivery.
The two churches receiving the donations will be shipping the clothing out via container ship to their network of churches located in the Philippines.
‚ÄúThis is so heartfelt that I cannot express the gratitude I feel for the generosity of my company,‚ÄĚ Aurelio said in a statement. ‚ÄúI am overwhelmed by it, knowing the Filipino people will need these items for months to come, as some only have the clothing on their backs. It‚Äôs a huge responsibility to coordinate this effort, but knowing how much it will be appreciated is what keeps us going.‚ÄĚ
Ocean State Job Lot is a growing, privately held retail chain with 111 stores in six New England states and New York, approximately 4,000 employees, and annual sales exceeding $540 million.