In 2005, members of the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations contributed more than $190,000 to help rent-to-own employees get back on their feet after the devastation caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The rent-to-own community helped 159 employees survive and recover from these natural disasters. Unfortunately, natural disasters have become all too common. We don’t know when or where one might occur next, but we have learned that a quick response is vital.
The rent-to-own industry must be ready to help whenever earthquakes, tornados, floods and hurricanes—any natural disaster that has been declared as such by the president of the United States—occur that affect our family of employees.
“You cannot know what a difference your contributions have made for my family. We appreciate everything so much and will always remember the kindness our APRO family has shown us during this difficult time. Thanks again!”
— Melinda, McGregor Rents Furniture
To address these needs, APRO has established a permanent disaster relief fund: RTO [Relief To Our] Employees Disaster Relief Fund. It will be administered through APRO’s charitable foundation so that all contributions are tax exempt. And every dollar raised will go directly to rent-to-own employees in need. The foundation’s board will publish quarterly statements of receipts and disbursements to the membership.
Cash donations will be accepted, but in order to have a more permanent and ongoing funding mechanism, APRO hopes to make this program available to all rent-to-own employees through a simple payroll deduction plan where contributions are small enough not to be missed and the program will attract universal support.
The RTO Employees Disaster Relief Fund organizers recommend asking each owner to implement a voluntary payroll-deduction plan within his/her company—suggesting a small donation per month from each employee. We ask that each company match its employees’ monthly contributions, if possible. APRO will happily provide you with a template for paycheck stuffers to encourage your employees to participate.
Rent-to-own has always been a family of generosity. Please contribute to the RTO Employees Disaster Relief Fund and encourage your employees to do the same. A small contribution will make a big difference and will prove—once again—that the rent-to-own industry strives to secure the good of others.
If you are an APRO member in good standing and your company or employees have been affected by a natural disaster, please contact Bill Keese at APRO to receive more information about applying for disaster relief assistance.