Vandalia, Ohio, September 9, 2005 – Evenflo®, the manufacturer of infant and children’s products, announced today that it is shipping a large-scale donation of most-needed infant and children’s products to the New Orleans flood survivors evacuated to Houston. The donation includes approximately 50,000 baby bottles; 50,000 sippy cups; 1,500 Snugli baby carriers; 8,000 pacifiers; 640 strollers; and 680 portable play yards, with a retail value of $450,000. Company employees will be in Houston to organize distribution, working closely with the local United Way and a church group.
The relief effort was the brainchild of Evenflo employee Matthew Wilmore, Logistics Department Supervisor, who has close ties to New Orleans and was greatly moved by the suffering of the survivors. “Like everyone else, I was disturbed by the images I saw of families in the Super Dome sleeping on the floor, and families being evacuated with nothing more than the clothes on their backs,” said Wilmore. “The difference is that working for a company like Evenflo, I was potentially in a position to get essential products in the hands of families in great need.”
Wilmore presented his idea to management who mobilized Evenflo’s resources to help the relief effort. Said Evenflo CEO Rob Matteucci, “We knew we could have a direct impact on helping families with the supplies they really need, and we wanted to do our part. We appreciate that Matt took the initiative to help the survivors, and fortunately, he also has the logistics expertise to make such a relief effort possible.”
Evenflo is overseeing the transport of products from its distribution centers in Ontario, CA and Piqua, Ohio to Houston, where many of the flood victims have relocated. The shipment is scheduled to arrive in Houston in about one week. Wilmore will be in Houston to coordinate distribution efforts with the United Way and the Second Baptist Church of Houston.
“We are thrilled with Evenflo’s generous contribution of products that the evacuees from New Orleans really need here in Houston,” said Anne Neeson, Vice President, Fund Development, United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast in Houston. “We are working with Evenflo to make sure these items are distributed to families as quickly as possible.”
Evenflo is also working with the Second Baptist Church of Houston which is leading a group of local churches to help the hurricane survivors. “This is a deeply appreciated contribution that will help a great number of hurting and needy people,” said Gary Moore, the Senior Associate Pastor. “The donation comes at time in their experience when they are most vulnerable, and it will do much to stabilize their lives and get them on the road to recovery and normalcy.”
Evenflo Company, Inc., founded in 1920 and based in Vandalia, Ohio, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of juvenile products, offering a full line of products, including stationary activity centers, safety products, juvenile furniture, car seats, travel systems and infant feeding accessories. Harvest Partners, Inc., a leading New York-based private equity firm, purchased Evenflo in August 2004, and is very supportive of these relief efforts on behalf of the Hurricane Katrina survivors. Evenflo has one of the broadest product offerings in the juvenile products industry, meeting the needs of children from birth through pre-school years. In addition to the Evenflo brand, the company also markets selected products under the Snugli and Exersaucer sub-brands. The company has established marketing and sales operations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.