On Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, Hurricane Isaac made landfall in southeast Louisiana, following nearly the same path Hurricane Katrina took exactly seven years earlier to the day.
While countless DSA member companies have provided assistance and support to those affected by Hurricane Katrina on that fateful day in 2005, still others have responded in a moment’s notice to various natural disasters across the country.
When a massive wildfire wreaked havoc over much of the Utah Valley earlier this summer, pending member My Lazy Daisy knew that consultant Julie Anderson was in harm’s way. Her town, Fairview, Utah, was evacuated shortly after the fires began to spread and many of her friends and neighbors lost their homes.
“We are a new direct sales company, having launched just earlier this year, and are small enough that we personally know most of our consultants, their stories and where they live,” said Diane Card, Co-Founder & CEO of My Lazy Daisy, which specializes in quilts and quilt kits. “We emailed and texted Julie but did not hear back from her until a few days later when she told us that she was safe…She shared stories with us about the devastation to her community and how she felt compelled to help. She devised the plan to provide a quilt for everyone in her community who had lost a home. As a company, there was absolutely no hesitation to do our part to assist in Julie’s efforts. Although we are a young company, we feel a strong and urgent responsibility to be a solid corporate citizen and give back to the community and improve the world in which we live.”
In efforts to support Julie in her quest to help those in need, My Lazy Daisy donated fabric and materials to the cause and encouraged all of the company’s distributors to take part in the initiative.
“We held ‘open sew’ days at our Daisy Design and Preview Cottage in St. George, Utah, where we had materials available for the public and used our facilities as a place where the public could bring in donations of quilts and materials,” Diane said. “We have worked with our suppliers to receive additional product donations that we have given to Julie for her cause. We have also organized news coverage and press releases to spread the word about her efforts. Many of our consultants joined in the cause by organizing their own ‘sew days’ and have donated their time and personal handmade quilts to the cause.”
As Julie and the My Lazy Daisy team began to receive an outpouring of support, Julie expanded the team’s efforts to provide quilts not only to those in her community impacted by the Utah fires, but also to all 897 families across the United States whose homes had been destroyed by wildfires as of earlier this month.
“My Lazy Daisy was created on the belief that quilts are personal treasures and are best created when they are made among friends,” Diane said. “We strive to help others build their quilting legacy, one stitch at a time. We can think of no better way to help create and share a quilting legacy than by donating handmade quilts to those whose lives have been devastated by wildfires.”
The company will continue to support Julie’s initiative through various efforts including another “open sew” day on Sept. 5 at the Daisy Design and Preview Cottage.
Similar to My Lazy Daisy’s outreach, when a catastrophic tornado devastated Joplin, Mo., last spring, Jordan Essentials executives and independent consultants alike felt the direct impact immediately.
While Jordan Essentials’ headquarters is located just over an hour outside Joplin, many with the company—as well as their close friends and families—lost their homes in the disaster.
“The Jordan Essentials family mobilized almost immediately,” said Nancy Bogart, the company’s chief executive officer. “We partnered with our consultants’ families and donated kits with lotions and soaps and our consultants rallied together and brought in cleaning supplies.”
The Jordan Essentials team united so quickly to help the residents of Joplin that the company never needed to issue a press release or organize an official event in order to draw a great turnout of distributors and families who were eager to help.
“We knew many of these people—they were part of our own family,” Nancy said. “It was such a quick effort to mobilize everyone. Our first wave of outreach lasted for close to two months. We drove over to Joplin after the tornado to help our own families but it was so bad there that it was like something out of a movie. You felt what you could do, you had to do.
“One of the most interesting parts of it was that we have a closed Facebook group through which we communicate with members of our salesforce and we were able to communicate with one of our consultants impacted by the tornado even while her emails and phones were down,” Nancy continued. “She got onto our Facebook page and conveyed to us exactly what people in Joplin needed.”
For months after the tragedy, Jordan Essentials distributors shared their stories with one another, including several who spoke at the company’s convention.
“It helped all of us to know we were able to do something,” Nancy said. “Our distributors were so eager to help—they brought laundry soap, sheets, clothing, everything…our whole front office was packed [with donations]. It was an amazing feeling and it was so good for our consultants to feel like ‘my company stood by me.’ A lot of companies shut down in and around Joplin after the tornado and some people lost their jobs, but our consultants never had to.
“I think that’s a great thing about the direct selling community—none of us are simply working in a cubicle,” she continued. “Instead, we’re a community and these people who were impacted were people we’ve known personally, we’ve met their families, we’ve hugged them and we’ve celebrated their successes. You do what you can for them and you find out firsthand that you’re able to make an impact even after such an awful event.”
Source: Direct Selling Association