Word travels fast in the small town of Pacheco, California.
That’s how Cody Thomas, CEO of GlassRenu, quickly learned about some area downtown businesses having their windows destroyed during the Covid-19 shutdown. “The saddest one to me personally was that they tagged every single window of the best deli in town.”
Cody’s initial thought was this kind of thing was simply unacceptable. “Not in my town.” So he jumped in his truck, drove downtown, and told the deli owner he’d fix all the windows for free. “It took me about a week, and I was satisfied. I had done my good deed for the community, gotten a lot of great sandwiches, and I was through.”
Then the riots came.
“As I was watching the local new and interviews with small business owners, I heard them talking about how they barely survived Covid, and now they have spray pained graffiti on their buildings and etchings on their windows.” Many of these business owners were minorities. All of them were hurting. And Cody knew he had to do something.
He started by reaching out to his GlassRenu customers to see who might be willing to help. The responses was “unbelievable.” In fact, his customers were not just interested in offering glass restoration, but many also provide window cleaning, pressure washing, etc., and wanted to find ways to help.
“I think a lot of people wanted to help, but they just weren’t exactly sure how to start. They needed a little direction.”
And that’s what Cody’s new campaign, Store Front Strong, is all about.
GlassRenu reached beyond their network of glass technicians and turned to a number of service professionals and trade organizations – including the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) and Power Washers of North America (PWNA) – to encourage members and companies to volunteer 20 hours of their labor and expertise over the next 30 to 60 days.
“At the same time, we have assembled a host of manufacturers and suppliers, including GlassRenu, to donate many of the necessary tools, materials, and supplies needed for repairs to as many small businesses as we can assist through the end of July or as long as the volunteers are willing to donate their services.”
How to Get Involved
The StoreFrontStrong.org effort is now adding hundreds of volunteer to their list of local contacts. Small business owners and volunteer organizations alike can visit the website to request free repairs and/or restoration assistance for their storefront. They can also use the interactive map to locate a list of volunteers in their area, along with the services they provide. From there, the business owner can easily reach out directly to volunteers to schedule repairs or cleanings, without having to work through a middleman or waiting period.
Those interested in volunteering at least 20 hours of service in their local community can also register on the StoreFrontStrong.org website.
Finally, manufacturers and suppliers interested in providing products to help volunteers can reach out through the website as well.
Since announcing his plans last week, Cody said he’s been overwhelmed by the response from both cleaning and restoration contractors, as well as equipment manufacturers and suppliers. “It speaks volumes about our industry. We have a real chance to change our environment and show the country what being an American small business is really about. I think that if we present a solution together as an industry, we can make a big difference in a lot of people’s lives and hopefully help mend some of the hurts and unify us as a nation. I can’t wait to see how far we can go.”