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Across our nation, plumbing and heating wholesale distributors — deemed an essential industry because of the products that are manufactured, sold and installed — are part of the effort to keep our communities safe and healthy. While doing so, the industry has seen an outpouring of support to give back to those in their communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 health and economic crisis — either lending a hand or lifting up spirits.
Giving back comes in many forms — and we celebrate the spirit of giving exhibited by several companies. These acts of charity may look different, but their impact is forceful.
Puget Sound Pipe & Supply, Seattle
Seattle’s Puget Sound Pipe and Supply Co. is a family-owned and operated wholesale distributor. Its values are represented within the company name Pipe: people, integrity, partnerships, and excellence.
A team member connected to AgriNorthwest, a consortium of family farms in the Pacific Northwest area of Kennewick, Wash., was told of its food distribution challenges. The farm, supported by local restaurants, had a surplus of potatoes it was unable to provide to its customers as the COVID 19 virus caused restaurant closures across the nation. This scenario is being played out across our country as farmers cannot sell their crops and the distribution process is disrupted.
"Instead of letting the potatoes go to waste, we stepped in to give back to our community," says Koltin Stratiner, president at Puget Sound Pipe and Supply.
The company, skilled in logistics, sent a truck to the farm and loaded it with nearly 3,000 pounds of potatoes, which it brought back to the corporate location in Kent, Wash. A team of employees spent the day bagging the starchy favorites to distribute to local food banks that are helping feed these communities and assisting those financially affected by COVID-19 coronavirus.
"As a family-owned company, we take our commitment to our employees and the communities that support us very seriously,” Stratiner notes. “We have witnessed the challenges COVID-19 is creating in the areas where we operate —and nothing is harder to watch than hunger. When we heard from several customers in the agriculture sector that farmers were having to waste crops due to not having the means to move them to food banks, we immediately saw a challenge that we could solve for them.
“Being able to bridge the gap between the farmers and our community has been a pleasure, and we are looking forward to continuing to do so for as long as the farmers have crops to donate.”
Crawford Supply Co., Chicago
Crawford Supply Co. is a wholesale distributor of plumbing and heating supplies with designer bathroom and kitchen showrooms that serves homeowners and trade professionals in the Chicago metro area. Its website hosts a video that personifies the company — from culture to service. Within the video are 29 framed fundamentals of the quality of behavior the distributor nurtures. No. 1 is “Do the Right Thing, Always” The last is No. 29, “Keep Things Fun.”
To support the community and its customers, Crawford Supply painted a mural celebrating those customers on the side of its Chicago Northside neighborhood location. The goal was to spread cheer and give thanks to all plumbers for protecting the health of our nation. The mural was painted by a local artist and sponsored by Kohler Co.
Caption: Employees Samantha Miller and Cari Wahlund are all smiles — as is the entire neighborhood— as they celebrate the work of a local artist who highlights the work of plumbers and bring the channel full circle with thanks to Kohler Co. for its sponsorship.
The Portland Group, North Billerica, Maine
The Portland Group, a family-owned, multigenerational plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning company with locations across New England, gave back to its community through a campaign to feed first responders throughout the region.
Over several weeks, The Portland Group and its Splash and Spritzo showrooms fed hundreds of first responders in a campaign to support local restaurants, hospitals, fire stations, police stations and schools.
During its campaign, one of its retail or wholesale locations ordered from a local restaurant and had food donated and delivered to the first responders of their choice. The campaign was celebrated on the company's social media pages, where followers could track where food was being ordered from and delivered.
"Our hope is that our loyal followers will consider adding to our donations and help us as we support our local restaurants and those on the front line," says Michael Fox, CEO of The Portland Group.