In the aftermath of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti’s Port-au-Prince capital — and stunned the world — the lighting industry has mobilized to aid the island nation.
From manufacturers to showrooms, stories of people coming together to help the people of Haiti reverberate throughout the close-knit lighting community. From raising much-needed money to simply raising awareness, individual companies have approached the crisis with creativity and compassion.
New York-based manufacturer WAC Lighting raised $30,000 in relief efforts for victims of the Haiti earthquake.
“We’re a relatively small industry, but it’s an industry that I feel is a very caring one,” said company President Shelley Wang.
The company has engaged both its U.S. employees and workers from its factory in China to donate money for the Haiti earthquake relief efforts, matching the donations with corporate dollars. “Peer pressure is a wonderful thing,” she says.
All funds donated were given to the American Red Cross.
In the baseball-loving city of Boston, a lighting showroom decided to funnel the residents' Red Sox loyalty into an opportunity to make a difference in Haiti.
Lucia Lighting Design partnered with two other local businesses — a real estate agency and a funeral home — to raffle three pairs of opening day Red Sox vs. Yankees game tickets (one set donated per business) taking place in early April.
Raffle tickets are being sold for $10 each through March 21, with the three lucky winners announced at a drawing on March 28.
“We thought by doing a raffle like this we could raise more money than just writing a check. Our businesses do have a Haitian community; there’s people in our community grieving for lost ones, people who’s relatives are still missing,” says President and Co-Owner Lucy Dearborn. “It’s an answer to a real call in our own community. We felt like we had to do something. It wasn’t really an option.”
The three businesses have set a goal to raise $50,000, with proceeds going to the Haiti Relief Fund.
When news of the tragedy in Haiti broke out just days before the January Dallas Intl. Lighting Market, Dallas Market Center staff quickly mobilized to help raise funds. They placed donation boxes and signs throughout the buildings encouraging buyers and exhibitors to contribute to the American Red Cross via text, the Web and the on-site donation boxes.
“More than $4,000 came into the donation boxes over just a few days, and we assume much more was done via text and online,” says DMC's Cole Daugherty. “We were thrilled. The lighting industry has turned a business trip into a humanitarian mission of sorts.”