Last week, MyRye.com told you about the students at Osborn Elementary School raising "Change for Haiti" to be donated to American Red Cross efforts in Haiti.
Welcome future fundraisers! Osborn students raised $2,600 in "change" for Haiti relief in just one week. If you see an Osborn student today, give them a high five and tell them job well done. Awsome.
Let's see if Rye's $2,77 Billion market cap Jarden Corp (NYSE: JAH) at 555 Theodore Fremd Avenue follows the lead of these elementary schoolers just a stone's throw from their headquarters. Jarden owns an array of consumer products companies including Rawlings, the folks that make sporting equipment including baseballs for Major League Baseball.
In a piece in Wednesday's New York Times (excerpt below), writer Richard Sandomir, recounts how Rawlings pulled its Haiti operations 20 years ago leaving 1,000 unemployed and perhaps should consider opening up shop again in a move that could be both humanitarian and business savvy. The CEO of Jarden, Rawlings' parent company, Martin Franklin, keeps a second home in Rye (with his main home in Aspen). He has raised money for Jewish and veteran groups (scroll down).
It occurs to MyRye.com that another company in Jarden's collection is Coleman, maker of tents. Just last week, Haitian President Rene Preval made an urgent appeal for 200,000 tents to house 1 million homeless before the May rains.
Seems like we have the makings of both immediate and long term help for Haiti. How about we start with some of those tents? Mr. Franklin?
Here is an excerpt from the Times piece:
"A Manufacturer’s Debt to Haiti
By RICHARD SANDOMIR
Nearly 20 years ago, Rawlings Sporting Goods closed its baseball assembly plant in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and completed a move to its other factory in Costa Rica. Rawlings cited Haiti’s political instability for idling about 1,000 workers.
Now, almost a month after the earthquake that caused innumerable deaths and widespread suffering and devastation, does Rawlings have a duty to send some business back to Haiti?
Major League Baseball should prod Rawlings, its official baseball supplier since 1977, to consider such a move as one way to try to help Haiti….
He added that the despot Jean-Claude Duvalier helped foster the low-cost business environment “by making sure there were no independent unions.” DeWind said Rawlings was not alone in paying its workers “what the World Bank called less than the minimum daily amount to support a family.”
Duvalier fled Haiti in 1986 and, in the chaotic years afterward, Rawlings and other companies left.
Rawlings found peace at its baseball factory in Turrialba, Costa Rica. A small division within the Jarden Corporation, a conglomerate in Rye, N.Y., Rawlings is a licensee that pays royalties to baseball and provides teams with 110 dozen free baseballs each season….
Bob DuPuy, the president of M.L.B., which contributed $1 million to Haitian relief…. indicated that a conversation with Rawlings about Haiti might occur after “some form of normalcy takes over.”….
No executive of Jarden would speak for the record. Evan Goetz, a spokesman for the company, said, “There is no plan to relocate production facilities to Haiti.”…"