We need your help to make Books for Better Lives a reality!
Books for Better Lives, or BBL, is a new collaboration between the Houston Food Bank, Books Between Kids, the Houston Public Library System, and Houston Community ToolBank to distribute books to deserving students when they are not in school. The distributions will be in partnership with the Houston Food Bank’s meal programs for these same students.
Gensler has agreed to spearhead the book drive for this summer’s pilot program. The goal is to collect a minimum of 12,000 books, one for each youth served, this first year. IFMA Cares and IFMA Sustainability have joined forces to contribute toward this goal.
The Houston Food Bank, among its many programs, serves meals in the summer to 12,000 deserving school-age youth at 300 locations through the Food Bank's Kids Cafe program. During crises like the COVID-19, they are using additional means to distribute meals to HISD students in need.
Books Between Kids is a nonprofit that collects, prepares, sorts, and distributes donated books to children at their schools. Last year alone, they distributed over 300,000 books to children in the Houston area.
Here is how you can help. While you are at home, please gather books that can be donated. We ask that you please share this email with your co-workers, friends, neighbors, places of worship, college alums, gyms, and other groups. This is also a great opportunity to involve your children and let them spearhead drives among their own networks, including sports teams, schools, and scout groups.
Eligible Books: new and like-new books for ages 0-18, including:
- Story books
- Chapter books
- Leveled readers
- Children’s non-fiction books (that kids would pick out to read for fun)
- Board/toddler books
- Spanish or dual language books
Books we cannot use:
- Books with torn binding, pages or covers
- Books with yellowed or discolored pages
- Religious books
- Workbooks, coloring books, sticker books, and puzzle books
- Reference books, textbooks or outdated non-fiction books
- Teacher or parenting books and materials, such as flashcards
- Audiobooks, DVDs and CDs
- Books with content that is inappropriate for children
In light of the COVID-19 crises, this is the time to get the word out and start collecting. The Books for Better Lives team is staying flexible for now as to all means for collecting and distributing these books to those in need.
Stay safe, stay tuned, and thank you for making a difference.
Your facility has suffered extensive interior water damage? Here’s what to do.
Property owners and facility managers can have a huge load on their shoulders when interior water damage occurs. Whether the cause was a broken sprinkler head, a busted water pipe, sewage backup, a major storm event or a widespread flood, remediating damage to your property’s assets costs you and your tenants time, productivity and revenue.
Your first action when a water disaster strikes must be to secure the premises to limit damage and protect the facility’s occupants. Call a trusted asset care service provider who knows your space and security protocols. Contact your tenants’ key executives and EH&S personnel to keep them informed and manage their expectations on business continuity. Notify your security company to ensure they are surveying the area. Time is of the essence so quickly make your initial assessment and engage your professional water damage, remediation team.
As a safeguard, always assume the facility’s flooring, walls, furniture, contents and any standing water inside is contaminated. Be ready to take precautions against permanent damage or harm to the structure, your tenants and the value of the property’s assets from microbiological contamination such as mold, spores and airborne pathogens that cause air-quality degradation and a lingering risk of disease. When your water damage cleanup procedures are compliant from the outset, you also help protect against the future risk of possible fines or litigation.
Protecting yourself and your inspection team
Be sure you and members of your inspection team wear any protective garments warranted by the situation. Depending on the extent of the damage, this could include durable water-resistant footwear, protective goggles, rubber gloves and disposable N-95 respirator masks. Cordon off the area to restrict access. Then walk the facility’s perimeter. Based on the severity of the incident, consider turning off all gas, water, electrical power and utility services. Inspect foundations and retaining walls for cracks and other significant damage while making tangible, recordable documentation of the damage. Enter the building and take comprehensive notes and photos of the scope and extent of the water damage on floors, walls, furniture, computers and electronic equipment and other valuable furnishings.
Call interior water damage remediation experts
Experienced professionals in the property and facility management industry will advise you to entrust your remediation operations only to companies whose emergency technicians meet all IICRC® (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards for Class A facilities. Very few companies meet them all — but Corporate Care does.
Emergency response to natural disasters
Corporate Care will mobilize days in advance of predicted major weather events, deploying resources to wherever our clients need us from coast to coast. And because we know their interior spaces and security protocols, we can respond quickly — reducing the duration of work required and saving money. We have provided an emergency response for Hurricanes Rita, Ike, Sandy, Gustav and more. During the 2017 Hurricane Harvey disaster, in the face of extensive damage within the city’s critical energy and financial corridors, Corporate Care was cited for its exemplary performance for multiple clients. Our team quickly aggregated the massive resources required to launch a multi-phase mobilization of technicians, equipment and materials for the upcoming remediation operations, and was among the first remediation companies to reach the affected areas.
Corporate Care’s services to remediate water damage caused by catastrophic events include:
- 24/7 emergency response
- Documenting all areas of all buildings to render moisture maps and supporting data, employing recorded observations along with digital photography, moisture measurement and infrared images
- Removing all contaminated and affected material from the interiors, concentrating on the areas with active mold growth
- Filtering and scrubbing the air in the buildings 24/7
- Pumping out hundreds of gallons of water per day from the affected buildings
- Removal of clear, gray and black water
- Implementing advanced structural drying and chemical-based decontamination of all the structural surfaces and fixtures deemed to be repairable
- Document and furniture drying
- Test readings for indoor relative humidity and direct moisture
- Removing all baseboard and wall surface material as determined by the levels of contamination measured and moisture readings taken
- Removing all damaged materials including acoustic tiles, trim around partition glass, doors and millwork, appliances, fixed objects in target areas (such as restrooms) and tile wall surfaces
- Employing biocidal agents to decontaminate all structural surfaces
- Providing non-stop air scrubbing and filtration throughout the disaster recovery process
- Documentation to substantiate compliance
In the instance of Hurricane Harvey, it took nearly two months to finish the recovery on all properties within the defined scope of work, and all projects were completed on time and within budget. Hopefully, you will never experience extensive water damage in your facilities, but if you do, Corporate Care is an ideal partner for safe, thorough and expedient remediation.