The U.S. division of China-based hardwood and bamboo maker Wellmade Floor Coverings has set up a relief fund to bring aid to the areas hardest hit by the earthquake that struck the Sichuan province of China earlier this month. An estimated 65,000 people have died from the natural disaster, with many more injured, homeless or missing. While the Wellmade factory in Nanjing, Jiangsu, is approximately 900 miles outside the areas hardest hit, the company said that many of the factory workers have been personally affected.
“There are many people in China who
come to work in the factories in the major cities who are from the rural parts
of China,” explained Bruce Baxter, general manager of Wellmade’s U.S. division.
“When we heard about what happened, we knew we had to do something. We are a
Chinese manufacturer that also distributes here in the U.S. So we are both
Chinese and American.”
As the U.S. flooring market
continues to cool, many major manufacturers are depending more and more on
China to grow their business. Recently, Anderson announced a licensing and
manufacturing deal with Chinese manufacturer PowerDekor to offer a range of
hardwood flooring exclusively for the Chinese market. Additionally, Laticrete
recently opened a plant in Shanghai, marking the company’s first fully owned
plant outside of the United States. Baxter told NFT that his
company was making an appeal to the industry to donate for two reasons: because
many in the industry are doing business in the Chinese market, and also simply
to ease the suffering of the farmers and factory workers who have lost their
homes and loved ones.
“This is a way that people in the
industry can offer their support for a very tragic incident, whether or not
they do business in the area,” he said. “It’s not an obligation. It’s just a
way we can all help out a little bit.”
Working in partnership with Wells
Fargo Bank, Baxter said that 100 percent of the donations would go directly to
the Red Cross Society of China, with no money taken out for overhead. The
company has set up four options for donating.
The first is to visit any Wells
Fargo branch and donate to the China Earthquake Relief Account. Another option
is to send a check or money order payable to the China Earthquake Relief
Account by writing to: Wells Fargo Bank Northwest, N.A.,
China Earthquake Relief, 8699 SW Main St, Wilsonville, OR 97070; or calling
(503) 582-8892 (Bank Route Code # 121000248---Domestic, ISwift Code#
Wire transfers can also be made directly to the Red Cross
Society of China through Account No.: 7112111482600000209, China CITIC Bank
Beijing, Jiuxianqiao Sub-Branch, C&W Tower. No.14, Jiuxianqiao Street,
Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100016 (Swift Code：CIBKCNBJ100).
Finally, donations can be made by contacting: Wellmade Floor Coverings International,
Wilsonville, OR 97070; by
calling (866) 582-0848; faxing (503) 582-8402; or sending an e-mail to Wellmadesales01@aol.com.
‘A way we can all help out': Wellmade seeks donations for Chinese earthquake victims
May 29, 2008