Jan. 12, 2010, will be seared into the minds of Haitians foryears to come. That day’s catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 and left roughly 1 million homeless, and the devastation and suffering left in its wake is still attracting worldwide attention.
In the past two months, donations have poured in from everywhere, including the aquatics industry. Some industry numbers were impacted directly and several companies stepped up with monetary donations. Meanwhile, a number of manufacturers have used their expertise to help provide much-needed clean water.
“We are supporting efforts in Haiti through our Chlorine Chemistry Foundation [supported by member companies, including PPG, Arch, Occidental and BioLab],” said Jeffrey Sloan senior director of water and sustainability, Chlorine Chemistry Division, American Chemistry Council.
“We have provided $15,000 to International Action for relief efforts in Haiti, and are planning additional support to UNICEF’s water and sanitation efforts.”
Arch Chemicals has worked with International Action to provide clean water in Haiti for several years. Following the earthquake, the company donated $10,000 each to International Action and the American Red Cross, to bolster emergency efforts, according to Dale Walter, a company spokesman for the Norwalk, Conn.-based company.
Similarly, global water solutions provider Pentair Inc. worked with its foundation and its charitable partner, Water Missions International, to contribute $200,000 to fund portable water-treatment systems and related supplies to Haiti. The Minneapolis-based company provided five chlorinators and 10 Living Water Treatment Systems, which can provide potable drinking water to
approximately 100,000 people daily.
Team Horner of Fort Lauderdale Fla., has become involved on a more personal level. When employee Fernand Pascal’s family lost everything, he went to Haiti directly to assist them. His co-workers held a raffle and sent the money raised directly to him and his family. Another employee, Marc Germain, lost a relative in the earthquake and the company also collected funds to help his family.
Other firms that provided aid include the following: Masco Corp., parent company to Watkins Manufacturing, maker of Hot Spring Spas and Caldera Spas, made a contribution to the American Red Cross International Response Fund to assist with food, water, shelter and general relief operations in Haiti, and matched individual employee donations; the National Swimming Pool Foundation also made a donation to the American Red Cross; Miox Corp. donated five portable water-treatment systems; Regency Pool and Spa of Florida Inc. made a contribution to the American Red Cross; BECS Technology Inc. made a donation to the American Red Cross of $50 on behalf of each of its employees, plus financial contributions to two other relief organizations working in Haiti; Hach, the parent company of AquaChek, and Danaher Corp., which acquired Hach in 1999, made financial contributions, provided equipment, and created a program to encourage staff and customers to donate; Playtime matched employee donations to Shelterbox USA; and Taylor Technologies matched employee contributions to Samaritan’s Purse Haiti earthquake relief efforts, and donated customized water test kits to Safe Drinking Water Ministries.