K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers Reach Out to Home Industry

fashiondeliversNEW YORK - As K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers gears up for its 30th anniversary gala fundraiser on Nov. 4, the charitable foundation is also putting more effort into recruiting purveyors of essential home goods.

Each year, the organization gathers new product donations from suppliers and retailers in the fashion, home and children’s industries, then delivers them to people in need. Since 1985, over the combined organization has distributed more than $1.2 billion of donated products to the poor and disadvantaged worldwide.

Recent efforts include assisting families displaced by flooding in South Carolina and wild fires in northern California. K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers is still provisioning people in the Mid-Atlantic who lost their homes during Hurricane Sandy and remain uprooted.

Key products needed from the home furnishings industry include comforters, sheets, pillows and towels. The organization partners with non-profits and government agencies in all 50 states to collect and distribute goods. It also assists disaster victims worldwide. “We had a major presence in Haiti [after the 2012 earthquake],” she noted.

“We concentrate on basic necessity items,” said Lisa Gurwitch, CEO, K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers. “We pick up from stores, warehouses and distribution centers. That’s how we keep our overhead low.”

Himatsingka America, for example, recent donated Lady Antebellum Heartland merchandise from its North Carolina facility to the program helping people in South Carolina.

“Even overseas companies are carrying domestic inventory in anticipation of replenishment orders,” said Himatsingka America president David Greenstein. “At a certain point, some inventories get close to not being worth much to the manufacturer – but they’re worth a great deal to people who need help.”

He added: “Your difficulty [as an inventory holder] becomes someone else’s solution.”

Li & Fung was a founding member of Fashion Delivers, which merged with K.I.D.S. in April 2014. Rick Darling, the sourcing giant’s executive director of government and public affairs, told H&TT that “turning leftover , new inventory into life changing items for families in their time of need was more valuable in most cases then selling the goods off price.”

The merger of Fashion Delivers and K.I.D.S. “was a game changer,” he added, “and our new reach out to the home industry has the potential for the same impact”.

The K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers gala fundraiser will take place Wednesday, Nov. 4 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Honorees include Stuart M. Brister of Wells Fargo Capital Finance, Dow Famulak of Global Brands Group , and Shikshya Foundation Nepal with its co- founder Prabal Gurung , the renowned fashion designer.

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