‘Tis the season for giving, and The Aaron’s Company just made a significant gift in its home community of Atlanta, Georgia, donating 225 mattresses to families in need.
In December 2021, the Forest Cove Apartments in Atlanta were ruled to be in such a state of disrepair that they had to be condemned. The severe health and safety risks at the neglected apartments forced the relocation of more than 200 families that lived there. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens spearheaded the effort to find new homes for these families and organized dozens of companies, organizations, and nonprofits to raise $9.1 million to help with the relocation. The last of the families were moved out in October.
Aaron’s contributed to the project by delivering 225 new mattresses and foundations to those affected by the move. Aaron’s made the donation in honor of its founder Charlie Loudermilk, who passed away in August of this year.
“Charlie Loudermilk founded Aaron’s in 1955 and achieved incredible success as an entrepreneur building our company,” shares Douglas Lindsay, CEO of Aaron’s. “Equally important, he was a champion of giving back to the City of Atlanta and the other communities we’re privileged to serve. We’re proud that we could make this donation so that these Atlanta families can rest comfortably in their new homes.”
It is an act of philanthropy that Loudermilk surely would have approved. Loudermilk and Aaron’s have long been known for giving back to the people of Atlanta.
He was also famous for helping bridge racial divisions in the city. In 1981, the conservative, white Loudermilk backed the ultimately successful mayoral campaign of Andrew Young, the African-American civil rights leader who had been one of the top lieutenants of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
In a 2005 profile titled “They Kept Atlanta Too Busy to Hate,” The Washington Post wrote, “Representing two disparate constituencies, Young and Loudermilk forged a friendship built on Atlanta’s racial and economic strides – launching the city onto an international stage.”
“An equitable Atlanta where no one is left behind requires community partners like Aaron’s who show compassion and generosity to our communities,” says Mayor Dickens. “When I came into office and met with these families, even though the City was not responsible for the conditions there, we knew we had a moral obligation to act. Thank you to Aaron’s and all the other community partners who made the relocation process a success. This is the Atlanta way.”