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Deana Dragonetti Brings a Smile to Others Following Hurricane Sandy

Sustainability Spotlight January 2013
When Hurricane Sandy roared through our areas in October—leaving heartbreak and devastation in her wake—Associate Deana Dragonetti immediately knew she needed to do something to bring comfort during such a harrowing time.

“I lived in Tom’s River all my life so I have a lot of contacts down there,” the New Jersey resident said. As a pharmacist, Dragonetti has made a career of helping people and serving the community. “I felt if I could organize an effort down there, it would be a huge benefit to the community.”

And so, on Dec. 1, Dragonetti rallied the troops together and headed to Ortley Beach, New Jersey, to clean up, restore and bring support to an area completely decimated by the natural disaster. Almost 40 Viridian Associates joined the Director in the relief effort and braved the harsh winter weather to bring solace and help to the area.

For more than four hours, Associates went home to home, assisting with any relief projects requested by the homeowners—from removing debris to salvaging furniture and keepsakes to knocking down damaged items.

“The numerous people in this company who showed up just to help others and donate their time was incredible,” Dragonetti said. “It made me recognize what kind of organization I am a part of. The sustainability event hit me deep down. There were a lot of restrictions in the area just due to the damage the areas sustained and because of safety issues. The police had to take us over there and we concentrated on three blocks of the hardest hit areas. It was a great day for everybody.”

Following the event, Dragonetti took her desire to help a step further by unloading two U­Hauls—filled with donated items from Delaware and Maryland Associates—that were driven by Viridian Associates to New Jersey. Dragonetti obtained a list of families most in need of these items and personally delivered them to those individuals.

“I put my three little ones in the car and delivered garbage bags full of toys, clothes and cleaning supplies to different families,” Dragonetti said. “We visited 10 different families in one day. The trip really gave my kids a taste of what life is really about.”

Before joining Viridian, when Dragonetti heard the phrase “sustainability,” she immediately connected it with creating a brighter future for her kids and giving back. However, after joining Viridian a year ago, and being a part of events like the Hurricane Sandy cleanup and U­Haul donation, she has come to find that sustainability is a much broader term to talk about the collective efforts of those helping others.

Hosting and attending sustainability events is “completely fulfilling,” Dragonetti said, and she encourages all Associates to make the time to participate in or lead a Viridian sustainability event. “Just to see the emotion on these people’s faces and to hear the ‘thank yous’ is so fulfilling,” she said. “You are there to help and that’s the most rewarding feeling. It’s great to be part of an organization with positive, motivated people.”

“Viridian is a company that is dedicated to getting involved and giving back—not only in terms of sustainability but in people’s lives in general,” Dragonetti added. “It’s the reason I see my future with Viridian. There are so many people out there whose lives will tremendously change thanks to this opportunity.”