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A Time for Giving

MHEDA and its members lend a helping hand.

Throughout the long and storied history of holiday movies, there have been countless characters who have embraced the spirit of giving—from Ernest Saves Christmas’ Ernest P. Worrell to Clark W. Griswold of National Lampoon’s fame. However, there also has been no shortage of cheapskates and crooks. Ne’er-do-well’s like Scrooge, the Grinch and, of course, Home Alone’s infamous Wet Bandits, all stood staunchly opposed to the spreading of cheer and or good will.

Luckily, MHEDA’s membership falls into the first group. There certainly aren’t any members whose hearts are two sizes too small—and each and every year they continue to prove it. Below are a few examples of how, as individual companies and as an association, MHEDA continues to give back.

Distributors Help MHEDA Help the Industry
The Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association Honor Scholarship is awarded each year to a worthy student or students enrolled in an industrial equipment curriculum. The goal of the scholarship fund is to further the awareness and recognition of the material handling industry within the academic community. The idea is that increased awareness will lead to more interest, effectively driving more quality students to the industry.

To ensure that the scholarship consists of more than a Barnes and Noble gift card and a hearty pat on the back, the fund needs donors—and thus far in 2008, MHEDA members have stepped up. Companies donating to the cause include:

  • A.J. Jersey (South Plainfield, NJ)
  • TriFactor Distribution Solutions (Lakeland, FL)
  • Western Pacific Storage Systems (San Dimas, CA)
  • Sunbelt Industrial Trucks (Dallas, TX) •Craft Equipment Company (Tampa, FL)
  • ReBas Inc dba Toyota-Lift of Los Angeles (Santa Fe Springs, CA)
  • Battery Filling Systems (Clemmons, NC)
  • Forte Industries (Mason, OH)
  • Toyota Material Handling N. CA (Hayward, CA).

MHEDA thanks these donors for making the scholarship a reality. Make a donation of your own here.

Giving Their Time
This year, several MHEDA members gave that most precious of commodities, their time. The following members cleared their busy schedules to speak at different MHEDA seminars. Without their investment of time and resources, MHEDA’s outstanding education programs wouldn’t have been possible.

  • Rex Mecham, Arnold Machinery Company
  • James Holmes, Barloworld Handling
  • Mike French, OKI Systems Limited
  • Neal Hittepole, Crown Equipment Corporation
  • Jim MacGregor, Toyota Forklifts of Atlanta
  • Kevin Moran, Wiese Planning & Engineering
  • Stephen Ross, Komatsu Forklift Holdings, Inc.
  • Greg Willet, OKI Systems Limited
  • Gary T. Moore, Industry Veteran & MHEDA Past President
  • Mark Juelich, American Warehouse Systems
  • Scott Lee, Conveyor Solutions, Inc.
  • Jack Phelan, TriFactor Distribution Solutions
  • Steve Strifler, Cisco-Eagle, Inc.

Distributor-Run Foundation Helps Flood Victims
In July 2001, MH Equipment Company (Peoria, IL) decided that each year it would donate 10% of its annualized budget income or actual net income, whichever was greater, to a foundation that would serve their community. “The Foundation was established to come alongside our employees’ passion and get them interested in making their community better,” CEO John Wieland explains. “It is a great way for us to give back to the communities in which we serve.”

The foundation, His First Foundation, is still giving back more than seven years later. In July the foundation donated a combined $60,000 to organizations aiding flood victims in Iowa. “Many of our customers In Iowa were affected by the floods and we saw this as an opportunity to give back to those affected and their communities,” says Todd Murray, director of operations.

Manufacturers Make Donations
It’s not just MHEDA’s distributors that are socially minded. When Hurricane Ike hit, the Houston Food Bank was having logistical problems distributing meals to the many victims. Fortunately, Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks of Houston (Houston, TX) stepped in to help, donating a PMW30N electric walkie.

In another example of member generosity, Clark Material Handling Company (Lexington, KY) celebrated Earth Day by planting 200 trees throughout Lexington.

An Aid Alliance Is Born
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, MHEDA was one of nine organizations to join together to help provide humanitarian relief agencies with a gateway to supplychain industry resources. As a result, the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) was formed as a central organization to help coordinate these efforts.

Over the past two years, ALAN has worked with FEMA, State Emergency Operations Centers and numerous Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) to create a more robust and structured platform to align donations with need and efficiently deliver solutions.

This year, ALAN launched its Web site, creating a simple way to find out who needs help and how to give it. The Web site offers an easy way to “Donate Now.” Just click the button from the home page and you’ll be directed to the ALAN portal on the Aidmatrix Network, a global supply chain for humanitarian relief. Click the link under “Product Donations” to view the needs. You can make in-kind donations to match these needs or you can make unsolicited donation offers—both directly through the site.

It’s easy, especially in challenging economic times, for a company to play Scrooge— but that’s not how MHEDA and its members roll. It’s times like these when giving is most important.

For various reasons, we weren’t able to list every member who has made charitable donations this year. However, those we have listed and the countless more we haven’t are a testament to the quality of MHEDA companies as a whole. And that is a lot for which to be grateful.

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