Extra Mile

True Disaster Relief

June 3, 2014

Disaster relief agencies often speak of the “second disaster.” That’s when well-meaning people show up at a disaster site intending to help but actually adding to the chaos. It also applies to goods sent to a disaster site outside relief channels. Sometimes the goods are not appropriate to the need or just add to the congestion at the site.

When TOTO USA decided to provide relief for victims of the 2013 tornados that struck Oklahoma, they offered real relief — in the form of bathroom fixtures.

The Georgia-based company sent high-performance bathroom fixtures to assist more than 2,000 families in Moore, Shawnee and El Reno, Okla., with their long-term rebuilding process.

“Our hearts go out to the victims of the devastating tornados,” said Bill Strang, president of operations for the Americas, TOTO USA. “We wanted to aid our friends and neighbors in Oklahoma with their long-term recovery process, so we are sending three 40-foot container trucks laden with our beautiful designs that offer superior performance — toilets, faucets, showers and accessories — to help families in these communities rebuild their homes.”

TOTO was assisted in this humanitarian project by its partners WinWholesale Inc., Oklahoma City Winnelson, RoadOne IntermodaLogistics, and the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project.

“We’re grateful to our partners on this philanthropic project,” said Jason Fitzsimmons, vice president of sales, US Sales Division, TOTO USA. “WinWholesale and Oklahoma City Winnelson provided much-needed long-term storage for the three containers that house our products. RoadOne IntermodaLogistics provided the logistics support for the 900-mile journey from our facilities in Fairburn, Ga., to Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project worked with families in the local communities to help them get back on their feet by minimizing gaps in the relief and recovery system.”

“WinWholesale and Oklahoma City Winnelson were very pleased to partner with TOTO in providing in-kind bathroom fixture donations to the victims of the horrific tornado that struck central Oklahoma last May,” said Jack Johnston, president, WinWholesale Inc. “Oklahoma City Winnelson has been part of the community for more than 30 years. Company president Bill Cudd and his team are grateful for the opportunity to help their neighbors rebuild their lives.”

“We are proud to be part of this important rebuilding effort that is helping fellow Americans in their time of need. As a national company, RoadOne IntermodaLogistics believes in supporting the communities it touches every day with its intermodal, trucking and logistics solutions,” said Ken Kellaway, CEO, RoadOne IntermodaLogistics.

TOTO is grateful for the local area support it has received from the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project, a collaboration of case management through American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, and the Oklahoma United Methodist Church, other nonprofit organizations, government, non-government, church and civic organizations in partnership with the United Way of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

  “Recovery is not a sprint, rather a marathon, so ongoing resources are needed to provide assistance. We could not do this without support from generous donors like TOTO. This donation provides a much-needed resource for families impacted by the recent tornadoes,” said Kami Kuykendall, senior director of recovery with the American Red Cross, a partnering agency in the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project. 

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