How Franchisees Helped During California Wildfires
Franchisees give back during natural disaster and explain the importance of helping your community.
By John and Ashly Robbins, Signarama franchise owners
Wildfires are common in California, but the Carr Fire of August 2018 had a huge impact on John and Ashly Robbins of Redding, CA. John and Ashly have owned Signarama Redding since 2005, but the community of Redding means much more to them. “We both grew up in Redding,” said Ashly. “This town is our home and where we are proud to raise our family and build our business.” At a time of crisis, John and Ashly used their Signarama to rally their community together and show support for those battling the blaze.
John & Ashly trusted quick instinct to safely evacuate their family as the flames from the fire moved into their subdivision. The next day, once they knew their home was safe, they returned to their shop on the other side of town. Neither John nor Ashly can ever sit back. “It was almost therapeutic to be able to devote our attention to signs. We began handing out a few signs to say thanks to the first responders, and when the sheriff got on the TV and told people how much the signs helped morale, there was an instant demand for more signs.”
In a matter of four days, the Signarama Redding team had printed and distributed nearly 6,500 signs, thanking everyone from firefighters, law enforcement and first responders, as well as heavy equipment operators, utility workers, air support and others. They started their flatbed printer Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. and it didn't shut off until Wednesday at 2:00 p.m, when they finally exhausted their material supply. Their staff worked together and kept the machine working 56 hours straight, sleeping at the shop for two nights. “Our team, every one of our employees, volunteered their time and went above and beyond to make these signs.”
They made so many signs that they depleted their entire stock. Luckily, being part of a franchise, they were able to use the value of the Signarama network to utilize strategic partners, like Grimco and HP. Not only did Grimco go the extra mile in getting the supplies to John and Ashly, they also helped with the cost of signs since they knew they were being given away. “We have great vendors and we want to make sure we give them credit for coming through and helping our community,” said John. “What we did with our signs definitely had an impact and we’re proud to have made some small difference during a difficult time in our community.”
Even when it’s not a time of crisis, Signarama Redding continually gives back to their community. Every October, they wrap a police vehicle and motorcycle pink for breast cancer awareness. This year, the “think pink” initiative included a fire truck. They also sponsor various runs throughout the year, including the Firecracker 5K, which proceeds go to veterans in the community. And outside of their community, John and Ashly are both mentors to their fellow Signarama franchisees, helping new business owners get their business started on the right foot. Being a part of the Redding community is amazing and humbling for John and Ashly.
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