Specialty pool/spa chemical manufacturer Haviland is contributing to the effort to fight the coronavirus.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company is making and donating hand sanitizer. It has adjusted part of its Kalamazoo, Mich., manufacturing plant to produce the alcohol-based gel-style sanitizer in limited amounts. The product is then donated to local critical-care organizations that need it, such as critical hospice, emergency health workers, shelters and day-care centers.
The team makes up to 500 gallons per week and packages it in 5-gallon bulk containers. The first batch was delivered at the end of March to several groups, including Western Christian Services, in Grand Rapids, Mich., which provides services to at-risk youth and families providing housing and care.
“The local demand is more than 1,000 gallons per week,” said Haviland Vice President Meg Post. "We are identifying the organizations for donation in West Michigan that don’t have access to the federal stockpile or national procurement organizations including local EMS, Fire, hospice, retirement centers, day cares, shelters and similar organizations. We are so pleased to be able to help community organizations with the most critical need.”
The company is not able to make or sell the sanitizer for customers or the general public, she added, as it is trying to help satisfy the need by local organizations, which it estimates at more than 1,000 gallons per week.
Post is serving as point person on hand-sanitizer requests and can be reached at [email protected].
“I am sitting here tearing up as Haviland is delivering these large containers of hand sanitizer so our staff can fill their empty hand sanitizer bottles,” said a spokesperson from Wedgwood Christian Services. “... This is one of those little-big miracles that we can’t really ever know the magnitude of its reach. We now have 70 clients and 200 essential staff members who are more safe.”
In addition to the hand sanitizer, Haviland is sourcing, packaging and distributing raw materials that enable local distilleries to convert locally produced ethanol into hand sanitizer.