WorldBed leaders tour Haiti, return with positive report
David Perry -- Furniture Today, November 5, 2012
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The founder of the bedding industry nonprofit organization WorldBed returned from a recent trip to Haiti with a positive report on the effectiveness of the charity's ongoing mission there since a major earthquake in 2010.
"Haiti was ground zero for WorldBed's largest campaign to date, and it is therefore the most significant proving ground for our efforts," said David Farley, a bedding industry entrepreneur. "Our findings in Haiti assure me that World- Bed continues to aid those in need and that the contributions of bedding industry supporters are gratefully appreciated by the people there."
Farley made the trip along with members of the World- Bed team, including Executive Director and President Laura Castro. She was returning to Haiti for the first time since immediately after the earthquake, when she organized the distribution of WorldBeds to survivors through several nongovernmental organizations.
To date, WorldBed has distributed more than 20,000 WorldBed mattresses in Haiti and more than 35,000 World- Beds worldwide.
Farley and the WorldBed team found that WorldBeds remain in use and were often at the center of family life in the shelter structures, tent camps and orphanages they visited.
"In some cases entire families share one WorldBed. They sleep on it, sit and eat on it, and children play on it," said Farley. "It is unfathomable to most of us, but many refugees cling to their WorldBed as one of their most prized earthly possessions."
Farley founded WorldBed after an impromptu relief campaign in which he and his staff at Anatomic Global, a memory foam mattress manufacturing company where he was CEO, procured and delivered donated materials for makeshift mattresses in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Following that endeavor, Farley and his staff designed the first emergency field beds that evolved into today's WorldBed.
For the effort in Haiti, the WorldBed was designed so it could be rolled and carried with a handle by refugees moving from camp to camp. The WorldBed consists of a three-inch pad covered with a weather-resistant material that can be wiped clean.
The beds are compression packaged and delivered in increments of 50 per pallet, or 1,800 WorldBeds per container, for efficient distribution , officials said.
"We designed and manufactured the WorldBed for Haiti to suit a specific need, and we also strived to create a product that had genuine value for its recipients that we hoped would endure in a useful way," Farley said.
Farley said his validation of WorldBed's success in Haiti supports the charity's plans for future endeavors that involve the development of new channels for giving, including distribution to health care facilities in impoverished areas of third world countries and homeless shelters in the United States.
"I am heartened by the impact that WorldBed has made in Haiti and remain committed to supporting the charity's efforts there and around the world," he said.
"These efforts, in addition to caring for WorldBed recipients, provide our industry's market leaders with an opportunity to make an impact on society. Doing legitimate good work is an important step towards earning the trust of the retail customer."
More information on World- Bed is available at www.World-Bed.org.