The Friendship Circle, an affiliate of Chabad that integrates special needs children with teenage volunteers, experienced severe flooding in its leased office space when water came through the ceiling from the apartment above it. It has not yet been determined what caused the leak, although it is believed to have resulted from either a broken or disconnected pipe, or an overflowing bathtub, said Rabbi Mordy Rudolph, director of Friendship Circle.
The flooding caused damage to many of the organization’s paper files, including medical records of the participants, as a result of water seeping into file cabinets. Although some of the computer screens were damaged, Rudolph believes no electronic data was lost.
The ceiling and carpets of the offices were ruined as well, according to Rudolph, as were some of the office cubicles. A restoration company has been repairing the damage, and “drying out” the space, Rudolph said. He estimates that Friendship Circle will spend about $15,000 on restoration costs, and another $15,000 on construction to damaged walls, floor and ceiling.
While Friendship Circle will be moving back into the Northumberland Street space, it will be holding its monthly Sunday Circle event at the Wightman School Community Building on Solway Street beginning this fall.
Because the group has been preoccupied with transferring information from its damaged paper records onto computer files, it has canceled its annual pre-Rosh Hashana apple picking trip to allow time to ensure “everything is in order,” Rudolph said.
Friendship Circle’s volunteers’ kick-off event, scheduled for Sept. 19 at the Coffee Tree in Bakery Square, is still on.
The flood is a “bump,” Rudolph said, “but it’s not that big of a deal.”
It may take a few weeks to get back to normal, but we are anticipating a great year.”
(Toby Tabachnick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)