When Anatomic Global CEO David Farley saw Anderson Cooper reporting from Haiti for CNN, he sprang into action, sending 3,000 WorldBeds (the cot-size mattresses his company originally developed to aid Hurricane Katrina victims) to aid in the relief efforts. He's gearing up to send 29,500 more beds to Haiti within the next few months and hopes, with the help of sponsorship, to have 200,000 beds there in the next six to eight months. We spoke to Farley about his design and efforts.
When did you decide to send WorldBeds to Haiti?
Thursday, January 14 at 6 pm. That's literally the moment I decided we were going to go for it. I was watching Anderson Cooper on CNN like millions of us were that night and reacted to the fact that so many people had nowhere to go but to lie on the ground.
How were you able to think of this on January 14 and have 500 beds on their way to Haiti within a week?
WorldBed started at the time of Katrina when our company and five or six of our key supply partners rallied to supply a product that was a cot-size mattress to New Orleans. It was a one-shot project, but subsequently we set up an area of our manufacturing facility to turn the scraps from our mattresses into memory foam-filled bean bags and the WorldBeds, which we donate to missions in Mexico.
When the earthquake happened in January, we realized that what we'd created for Katrina was an answer for the indoors and what we needed now was a product for the elements, since Haiti is very humid and is entering its rainy season. We focused on making the WorldBed moisture resistant and more portable. We put a water-resistent cover on the WorldBeds intended for Haiti and have had them vacuum-packed so they can be transported at the size of 25-inches wide by 25-inches long by one-inch thick. Once opened, they expand to 25-inches wide by 75-inches long by three-inches thick.
Where were the WorldBeds shipped to?
The initial shipment was sent to Parakletos International, which is the charitable distribution arm of the Calvary Chapel Churches and is running a camp in Jacmel, Haiti, for earthquake victims.
Will you be sending more beds to Haiti?
We will be gearing up production and hiring people so we can product 30,000 beds in three months. The effort is funded by our company, Anatomic Global; Foamex International; and several of our other supply partners and best customers and the beds will be moved by World Hope International. We'd like to send 200,000 units in the next six to eight months but will need more sponsorship to do that.