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Jewels of Java responds to flood damage

Employees of Jewels of Java responded to the aftermath of flooding in the Susquehanna Valley, along the New York/Pennsylvania border near their headquarters in Endicott, N.Y.

Jewels of Java President Karel Simeon and Business Manager Barbara Simeon, their employees, friends and family members donated and delivered two truckloads of discontinued furniture and household items to a flood relief center in Conklin, N.Y. The Simeons, members of First Presbyterian Church of Endicott, continue to be actively involved with helping the Conklin community.

"We are used to 'states of emergency' caused by snow but not on a beautiful sunny day like June 28," she said. "After a very rainy month of June, the river was flooding. In some places it crested 16 feet or more above flood stage. Thousands of people have lost their homes in communities all along the Susquehanna River. Two months later volunteers are still cleaning, rebuilding is still months away for most."

Cook Foam, Jewels of Java's foam supplier for custom cushions, is located in Conklin and was completely flooded. Five of its employees had flood damage in their homes while two lost their homes completely, Barbara Simeon said. "Cook Foam is back up and running, but the community has a long way to go," she said.

Relief centers were set up throughout the community to serve meals to people displaced by the flood and to provide needed items to those who lost everything. A "volunteer village" was set up in Bainbridge, N.Y. to house volunteers.

The American Red Cross, FEMA and N.Y. state government were all involved with assistance, but could only do so much.

"The needs are great, unlike anything we have experienced in our community before," Barbara Simeon said. She encouraged anyone who would like to help to visit and click on Give to Northeast Flooding to donate to Presbyterian Church USA Mission organization.

Karel Simeon, right front, and Barbara Simeon, center front, with Jewls of Java employees, friends and family who helped deliver outdoor furniture and household items to a relief center serving flood victims in Conklin, N.Y.

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