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J-M Manufacturing Co., Inc. (JMM), the largest producer of plastic pipe in the world, remains active in its Hurricane Katrina relief efforts one year after the devastating storm struck the Gulf region. JMM announced the donation of 80 sets of washers, dryers and refrigerators to victims in New Orleans whose homes have recently been gutted and rebuilt by volunteers from the Catholic Charities of New Orleans, through its “Operation Helping Hands” initiative. To date, JMM’s hurricane relief efforts have resulted in close to $150,000 in donations.
JMM’s manufacturing plant in Batchelor, La., was instrumental in helping the company identify a local organization in New Orleans where JMM could lend a helping hand.
“Soon after the hurricanes hit, our president and CEO, Walter Wang, called me and expressed his overwhelming desire to help the people displaced by the hurricane,” said Dan Wimberly, batchelor plant manager and a local resident of the Baton Rouge area.
Based on some initial research and conversations with local organizations, JMM felt that “Operation Helping Hands” was an appropriate partner. The initiative was created by the Catholic Charities to help local residents rebuild, and after seeing so many flood-ruined appliances piled by the side of the road, the charity decided to reach out to companies to raise funds to purchase washers, dryers and refrigerators to donate to local families.
“We felt a tangible donation, such as home appliances, would allow us to directly help those in need and serve several families at a time,” Wimberly said.
The homeowners who received the appliances were selected by Catholic Charities and qualified for the rebuilding phase of Operation Helping Hands, which was launched on Aug. 1, 2006.
“We are so grateful to donors like J-M Manufacturing. Their contribution, combined with the efforts of our volunteers, have kept our project alive and have been a lifeline to homeowners in our community,” said Joan Diaz, project manager at Operation Helping Hands.
In addition to this recent donation, JMM also made a large appliance donation to the Vermillion and Iberia Parishes in Louisiana in December 2005, and instituted a company-wide collection for Hurricane Katrina victims in August 2005, offering employees a five-to-one matching policy for each contribution they made.