Fox River Employees, Osage Boy Scouts and Community Gather Tents for Temporary Shelter for Fox River Caribe Employees Displaced by Earthquake
Osage, Iowa, April 13, 2010 – Joelle LaLanne and her family are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of Port-au-Prince residents still without adequate shelter after January’s devastating earthquake. As the rainy season approaches Haiti, Fox River Mills is working to see that Joelle and the other 53 employees of Fox River Caribe at least have good tents for temporary shelter.
Fox River is pleased to report that Fox River Caribe, its wholly owned subsidiary in Haiti, has been back in operation since February 1, just three weeks after the quake, providing much-needed employment to in the area. But the jobs are not enough, despite the relief efforts of countless organizations from around the globe. So the people of Fox River here in Osage have taken action.
“Fox River is committed to helping our employees and friends in Haiti recover from the earthquake,” says Becky Lessard, VP of Finance and Administration. Part of Fox River’s relief efforts includes a tent drive at the Osage factory. “We’re purchasing new tents, collecting gently used tents and inviting our local Fox River family to help our Fox River Caribe family,” says Lessard. Over the past few weeks, coordinating with other community groups, Fox River has been able to collect 20 gently used tents. “The local Osage Boy Scouts Chapter 1062 just received new tents through the “More Cents Program” sponsored by Osage Municipal Utilities, and in return were kind enough to donate ten of their used tents to the project,” says Lessard. On April 16, Fox River will send the first shipment of tents to Port-au-Prince.
Fox River’s minimum goal is one tent for each of its Fox River Caribe employees. These workers provide finishing work on some of Fox River’s hand wear products. The pieces are knitted in Osage and shipped to Haiti for finger assembly, leather and liner application and packaging, then returned to the Osage warehouse for sale.
Fox River’s efforts to lend a hand continue, and community members are invited to drop off used tents in good condition to Fox River’s Human Resources Office at 227 Poplar Street between the hours of 7 am and 4 pm. Alternatively, donations toward the purchase of new tents, even a few dollars, will be accepted gratefully. “Imagine losing everything in this earthquake; not even having a place to get out of the rain. It may be just a tent to us, but to them it’s a break from the devastation that surrounds them. We know our support will reach real people in Haiti and not get lost in the shuffle,” says Lessard. “We urge the community to donate that tent they haven’t used in years. Or to upgrade to a new tent and donate the old one, or just spare a few dollars. It can make a world of difference to someone in need.” Donations will be collected through April 30.