Soap Gives Hope to Long Islanders


Residents of East Rockaway village on Long Island, New York, continue to work together to clean up their neighborhoods in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Fortunately, generous people from all over the world have stepped up to provide assistance to the hardhit area, including Joann Hahn, an Amway Independent Business Owner and Long Islander.  In February of this year, she and volunteers of Long Island Cares Inc., Project Hope, and Girl Scouts of the USA met with 150 families of East Rockaway to distribute Amway cleaning supplies as well as food, clothing, heaters, and blankets.

Located on the Atlantic coast, East Rockaway experienced heavy flooding when the storm hit, causing sewage from a local treatment facility to flood homes. When Joann heard about the wreckage of the village, she decided to ask for help. “It was the soap more than anything that the people were in need of. I thought maybe Amway could donate a crate of Pursue,” says Joann. “Amway ended up donating $73,000 worth of cleaning supplies!

“I was so happy to brag about Amway that day. I wanted to be there to let people know what Amway did: they heard us, they listened, and they want to help.”

While Joann’s own neighborhood, located 40 minutes north of East Rockaway, was not affected in the same way, she still feels connected to the families who experienced a loss of some kind. “They had their own disaster, their own terrains, but I feel for the fear that they felt,” she said. “Folks that came in (to the distribution center) are living on the upper floor of their house. One man told us that when the waters came in, the whole neighborhood was flooded to the seven-foot water line.”

Referring to other residents of Long Island affected by the storm, Joann says, “It’s like you don’t know them personally, but you have an association with them. We refer to ourselves in our neighborhood as Strong Islanders.”

It was because of Joann’s compassion for people in need that the cleaning supplies were donated, but she  sees things differently. “All I did was open my mouth. All the kudos and all the blessings go to Amway.

“Soap is the hope!”

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