(DAYTONA BEACH, Flo.) March 11, 2021 -- FASTSIGNS® of Daytona Beach, FL was recently recognized at the 2021 Virtual FASTSIGNS/Signwave International Convention for their contributions to recovery efforts in Puerto Rico as part of the FASTSIGNS Cares program.
Early in 2020, Carmen Ruiz, franchisee at FASTSIGNS® of Daytona Beach, FL, spearheaded extensive recovery efforts after the life-altering earthquakes that hit Puerto Rico. The boots-on-the-ground team with Carmen included Debra Dagostino, another FASTSIGNS employee, Chris Towes CEO, Towes Communications, Inc., Cathlene Belrose CEO of Pink Lotus Massage, Terri Shrodum, Senior Sales Associate at O'Quinn Insurance Services through a local disaster relief organization. Efforts included an orchestrated effort of collecting and distributing 3000 pounds of supplies that included 250 lbs of medical supplies, 100 tents, 200 blankets, sleeping bags, first aid supplies and water filtration systems and meals. Her incredible efforts and service were recognized by the team at FASTSIGNS International, Inc., placing her as a top FASTSIGNS Cares honoree, and she was awarded $1000 to a charity of choice.
Carmen and her fellow Puerto Rico trip mates decided to use this donation to extend the impact they made by bringing it “back home” and directly impacting their own community. In 2021, Carmen and her FASTSIGNS team and Puerto Rico giveback team are rallying around the mission to raise awareness of Domestic Violence that affects women in their community, so Carmen will be donating the check to The Domestic Abuse Council, Inc./The Beacon Center.
The Beacon Center is the only certificated domestic violence shelter in Volusia County. It’s purpose is to provide emergency shelter, advocacy, support groups, information and referral services, case management, court accompaniment, safety planning and other needed services to support survivors in their efforts for safety and well-being. They offer a 24-hour hotline and an emergency shelter in a secured facility at an undisclosed address. The Beacon Center employs four (4) attorneys for help with Injunctions for Protection and Child Welfare Cases - representation in these cases is FREE. Beacon Center offers education and prevention programs for children. The “Hugs & Love” program assists all children who enter the emergency shelter programs with case management, safety assessments and advocacy. All services with the Beacon Center are confidential and free of charge.
“We wanted to take this blessing and really impact our direct community,” said Carmen Ruiz. “At FASTSIGNS, we want to be impactful community partners, so we continue looking for ways to be advocates for women in need. Donating this to the Beacon Center lines up perfectly with our business mission.”
Carmen and her team embody a lifestyle of service, and each team member is encouraged to wholeheartedly share their giveback missions through their About Us and Our Community pages on their center website. Carmen works hard to create positive change, and it is a personal mission of hers to be an advocate for raising awareness for domestic violence. Because of this, her team is assisting with the Let’s Talk About It campaign in an effort to get people to have the uncomfortable conversation about domestic violence and its effects.
To support the Let’s Talk About It campaign, FASTSIGNS is creating three different sets of posters this year. One set will be small posters installed in doctor’s office bathrooms that detail how someone can ask for help if they need a medical practitioner to ask the other person in the room to leave during an appointment. The next set of posters that FASTSIGNS will create are for businesses in Florida detailing how state law in Florida requires that an employer of 50 employees or more to hold their job for 3 days while they transition from one situation to another. The third set of posters will be created for clergy. This arm of the campaign will include digital assets on how to handle domestic violence from the pulpit. 250 of each set of posters will be created and shared with large employers, and the healthcare and ministerial sectors.
In addition, FASTSIGNS® of Daytona Beach, FL is proud to serve as a dropoff facility for The Beacon Center. For more information on supplies needed or to donate directly to The Beacon Center.