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ICSC Foundation spearheads hurricane relief efforts by shopping center industry

So when you think about shopping centers, what comes to mind?

Your favorite store? A good meal? The latest Hollywood blockbuster?

What if I told you that, during a major crisis, the shopping center industry is a key component in community preparation and recovery?

Well, it’s true. And that’s what I discussed recently with Trish Blasi, President at Borghese Investments and a member of the ICSC Foundation Board of Directors.

Trish supervises and guides all of the Foundation’s volunteer activities in the Southeast and Puerto Rico.

“Though they call me the vice president of the Southern Division, I’ve felt these past three months that I’ve been the vice president of the Hurricane Division,” she said.

With hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria impacting many ICSC members and their communities, the ICSC Foundation stepped up and created a fund that would match, dollar for dollar, any donations that ICSC members made to the American Red Cross.

“I’m really pleased to report that through the efforts of some very, very committed volunteers, today we presented the Red Cross with a check for over a million dollars – $1.17 million to be exact,” Blasi said.

The donation was presented during the recent ICSC South Florida Deal-Making Exchange.

“We’re very excited that we were able to once again demonstrate that the shopping center industry is an integral part of the communities that it serves, and in addition has a tremendous propensity toward philanthropy,” she said.

You know, I think people don’t realize just how deeply some have been impacted by the recent storms. My wife Vivian and I, for example, are still living in temporary housing after Hurricane Irma trashed our apartment.

And others have it much worse than we do. Puerto Rico, for instance, is years away from a full recovery from Hurricane Maria.

So it’s not too late to bring relief to folks who still need it badly. Visit the ICSC Foundation website to learn more about how to donate and volunteer.

And click here to listen to the full interview with Trish Blasi of the ICSC Foundation.

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