Fundraiser and networking event for Sandy victims
by Andrew Shilling
Apr 24, 2013 | 964 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Anjali Chugh
Anjali Chugh
slideshow
Alvertis Alexander
Alvertis Alexander
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Ellen Suazo
Ellen Suazo
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In response to the lasting effects among businesses and families in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy, the National Association for Professional Women Forest Hills/Rego Park chapter met last week for a fundraiser to contribute to the rebuilding.

The networking group drew in around $1,200 to be donated to Habitat For Humanity for the relief efforts, and began discussions in the community about how to address rebuilding from fellow women entrepreneurs.

Anjali Chugh, president of the NAPW Forest Hills/Rego Park Chapter, said there is always more to be done and assured that victims of the storm are not part of a forgotten story.

“I know it’s just a drop in the ocean, but it’s better than not doing anything,” Chugh said. “Some people might have forgotten about Sandy, but it’s still there and people are still being affected.”

Around 40 women business owners and entrepreneurs came out for the dinner and networking event at Biu Bella Caffe at 107-02 Queens Blvd. last week to network and discuss what else can be done.

“We can’t help everybody personally, so we just wanted to make a consolidated effort and give the money to an organization that can give it to the right place,” she said. “The objective of many people here is networking, so we are doing the same thing here but we also raised money out of this as well.”

The NAPW has around 400,000 members and around 400 chapters throughout the nation.

Alvertis Alexander owns and operates her personal handmade clothing line, the Alve’ Couture Collection, for the everyday woman, and joined the NAPW to network and develop her business model.

“I make everything from lingerie to winter coats,” Alexander said. “It’s one of-a-kind items, and there is no mass production.”

In response to the devastation left behind from Hurricane Sandy, Alexander donated wardrobes from her collection and personal wardrobe to several families in the Rockaways on her personal time, in addition to donating through the organization.

“We gave them bags of clothes,” she explained. “I’m from Houston, so I know what they are going through. My heart goes out to everyone who was affected by the storm.”

Like the other women who attended, Alexander was there to not only raising awareness for those still in need, but to also support other local women owners and professionals.

“I always think people that come out to different events are great,” she said. “Every little step we take, we go a little farther too.”

Ellen Suazo was at the event representing two of her businesses, One Cloud Security, a cloud-based IT service to teach about viruses and spam attacks, and Mindshifting International, a company providing marketing strategies for developing businesses.

“This is an opportunity to do a face-to-face meeting with someone and also to provide the information and resources we have to small business owners,” Suazo said. “After the storm, we helped a lot of small businesses who were shut down that needed to be fixed.”

Following the storm, she has sought out ways of helping to give back, whether through providing consultation to businesses or through donating through her local chapter.

“It is important that we give these businesses the support that they need,” she said.

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