Stuller Mobilizes Support for Katrina Victims


September 1, 2005

Stuller Mobilizes Support for Katrina Victims

"Stuller Inc. is operating at 100% capacity and has not been adversely affected by hurricane Katrina," said Charles D. Lein, Stuller president and COO. The Lafayette, LA, company says it's only experiencing some intermittent phone problems. "Fortunately for Stuller, we were not hit by the storm. We did not open until noon on Monday and did not have UPS or FedEx services on that day. Those issues pale in comparison with what those to the east of us are experiencing," he said.

Lein is heading a campaign to help refugees from Katrina's destruction. He shared a memo that went out to all Stuller employees on Aug. 31:
"Almost everyone in the world is aware of the devastation which has been brought on by Hurricane Katrina. All Stuller associates have friends and/or relatives who have been directly affected; with many now hosting displaced 'refugees' in their homes. Unfortunately, the real impact of the hurricane is only beginning to be felt. Nobody knows what the loss of life might be. We do know that near-term there may be as many as 1 million homeless individuals. Overnight, the state lost one-third of its economic base, and at least temporarily the nation lost one third of its oil production and half of its natural gas production.

"Earlier today, I assembled a task force of Stuller colleagues for the purpose of initiating a company response to the growing relief needs created by the hurricane. We concluded a course of action, which will be staged in an orderly manner over a period of time. Highest priority will be given to the 'extended families' of Stuller associates, who are providing housing assistance for family members. The second priority will be to help provide for the broader needs of those who have been displaced. Concurrently, we will be communicating with our suppliers and customers around the world in an effort to make it easy for them to make cash contributions to a Stuller Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund."

Professional Jeweler will make that information available as soon as Stuller announces it.

Stuller is determining the specific needs of individuals before it makes decisions regarding solicitation or dispensing of cash. To that end, it made a form available to employees so they could pinpoint the immediate needs of the refugees.

Lein also said The United Blood Services had made an emergency request for blood and that 158 pints of blood were donated by Stuller's employees. "The Stuller associate response was so strong that they were not prepared to handle another 150 individuals who offered to give blood on that day. Subsequent to the hurricane, they have numerous blood donors, but anticipate great needs when they conduct a scheduled blood drive at Stuller on Nov. 2-4."

by Robert Weldon, G.G.

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