LIVINGSTON, N.J. — Plastic pipe producer J-M Manufacturing Co. has remained active in its Hurricane Katrina relief efforts one year after the devastating storm struck the Gulf region, the company said. JMM recently announced the donation of 80 sets of washers, dryers and refrigerators to storm victims whose homes recently have been gutted and rebuilt by volunteers through the "Operation Helping Hands" initiative.
To date, JMM's hurricane relief efforts have resulted in about $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, the company said.
"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 resident of the Baton Rouge, La., area.
Based on initial research and conversations with local organizations, JMM said that the 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 Aug. 1.
"We are so grateful to donors like J-M Manufacturing," said Joan Diaz, project manager at Operation Helping Hands. "Their contribution, combined with the efforts of our volunteers, have kept our project alive and have been a lifeline to homeowners in our community."
In addition to this recent donation, JMM 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 5-to-1 matching policy for each contribution they made.
JMM was formed in 1982 with the acquisition of eight pipe-manufacturing facilities. Today, the company operates 14 manufacturing plants across the United States, with headquarters in Livingston. JMM produces water, sewer, solvent weld, electrical conduit, ABS and polyethylene pipe in diameters ranging up to 48 in. for PVC and up to 63 in. in HDPE.
Since Operation Helping Hands' inception in November 2005, nearly 5,000 volunteers have come from across the country to gut more than 800 residences. More information is available at www.ccano.org