Now imagine you are homeless.
That’s what was on the minds of Kevin Behrens of Univar, Inc. and Arnold Ramsey of FMC when they decided to host a provisions drive to aid the homeless in December 2013. Behrens had invited Ohio-based pest management professionals to an annual Univar holiday event and mini-tradeshow, but wanted to include a charitable aspect to the event. Behrens knew Ramsey and his wife volunteer their time with a homeless outreach program, so he gave him a call. An idea was born.
Knowing they couldn’t do it alone, Ramsey suggested they ask their friends in the pest management community for help. Between the two companies and the 65 guests, they were able to collect enough toiletries, sweatshirts, coats, blankets and scarves for 57 “provision packs,” and enough donations to afford turkey and ham dinners for more than 80 people.“This is a matter of life and death for some,” said Ramsey. “We’ve lost four homeless friends due to weather already this winter. It is a huge relief and comfort for them to receive even the most basic provisions.”
“But it is more than just physical,” added Ramsey. “Most are extremely grateful for the simple fact that someone cares about them. One man wept when we gave him a new scarf. He had been using a worn out shirt as a scarf.”
Behrens and Ramsey would like to thank all the pest professionals who contributed to the effort, though they weren’t at all shocked by how quickly and enthusiastically their requests were answered. “You just put out the call and people jump to it,” said Behrens. “That’s what so great about the pest control industry. We’re doers and we’re givers.”
Here’s how you can help the homeless in your area:
- Contact a local a shelter and ask what provisions they may need. Find one near you via the Homeless Shelter Directory.
- Consider a donation to the United Way, a Forbes magazine “all-star charity.”
- To work with homeless veterans, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
- To tutor homeless children, try School on Wheels, Inc.
The pest management industry does many great things for local communities! Read about how pest management professionals in Florida teamed up to rid a school of fire ants!