San Marco flood victims receive free furniture from California

Willie Tell of OE&S helped Mark Manship of MM Products, along with Antony Wetherill of OE&S, to deliver the couch to Israel Lopez Serrano.

Willie Tell of OE&S helped Mark Manship of MM Products, along with Antony Wetherill of OE&S, to deliver the couch to Israel Lopez Serrano.

Six San Marco residents who lost nearly all their furniture when hurricane floodwaters soaked their San Marco homes have benefited from the kindness of strangers from California.

After watching Hurricanes Harvey and Irma lay a one-two punch on the people of Houston and Jacksonville, factory employees from Martin Brattrud, a furniture company in Southern California knew they had to do something to help.

Using upholstery and other materials donated from their company, the workers donated their overtime to make 10 sofa/club chair sets for Texas victims and eight sets of the same for Florida victims, and had them shipped free of charge across the country.

“We’re an ESOP, an employee stock ownership plan company,” said Allan Stratford, president of Martin Brattrud in a statement on the company Facebook page. “The employees own a lot of the company itself, so when they decided to do something, they were deciding to take money from their own pockets to help others.”

In Jacksonville, company rep Mark Manship of San Marco, who owns MM Products, joined with Zimmermann Boulos of OE&S, also of San Marco, to store and distribute six of the eight sets to folks in need in San Marco.

Working with Martin Brattrud, EDI Express, Inc. donated the freight shipping to Florida bringing the furniture directly to the OE&S warehouse on the Westside. From there, Boulos’ company truck delivered the goods to the happy recipients.

Receiving a tan sofa and club chair Nov. 14 was Israel Serrano of The Towers. Serrano lost all his furniture when floodwater soaked his first-floor apartment, said Manship. Also taking delivery on Nov. 14 was an apartment dweller on San Marco Boulevard near Landon Park.

“I looked for San Marco people whose couches were out in their front yards,” said Boulos, explaining how he selected the residents who would receive the freebies. “Most of the people were flooded out in North San Marco. They are people who lost all their stuff.”

Manship said he was grateful to be part of the charitable effort. “I felt blessed that I could receive the furniture and orchestrate it. It’s nice to know somebody cares. All the furniture is made in the USA, which makes me feel good about the company. The employees donated their time, and it’s nice that they wanted to do something,” he said.

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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