Hanesbrands Inc. Donates Ambulance and Eco-Stoves as Part of Community Development Projects
Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Hanesbrands Inc. announced that it has renovated an ambulance, distributed 100 eco-stoves and is funding education programs for at-risk youths as part of continued efforts to improve the quality of life in several neighborhoods and communities in El Salvador.
The ambulance, stove and education projects will benefit more than 25,000 people living in communities near San Juan Opico, about 20 miles northwest of the capital of San Salvador. Hanesbrands, which has operated in El Salvador for nearly 20 years, has six apparel manufacturing and sewing plants providing more than 9,000 jobs in the country, including several facilities near San Juan Opico.
“Our employees identified health care and education as two key areas where our company can make a difference,” said Chris Fox, vice president of corporate social responsibility, Hanesbrands Inc. “These new initiatives are a demonstration of our commitment to making a positive impact where our employees live and work.”
Ambulance Project Hanesbrands invested $8,000 to renovate an ambulance for the community of Sitio del Niño’s Health Unit that serves an area of approximately 19,000 people south of San Juan Opico.
Before the renovation, the ambulance was in very poor working condition and jeopardized patient care when responding to medical emergencies. Hanesbrands renovated the vehicle’s engine and interior in partnership with the Rotary Club of Maquilishuat.
In previous health projects in the region, Hanesbrands renovated the San Juan Opico Health Clinic through a $100,000 donation and more than 2,000 hours of employee volunteer help. The company sent employees from around the Americas to help in the renovation project and flew U.S. doctors to El Salvador to conduct community health screenings as part of the dedication of the refurbished health clinic.
Hanesbrands bought 100 eco-stoves for $5,000 and employees went into the neighborhood of La Argentina in San Juan Opico to deliver them to residents in need of the cleaner, more efficient wood-burning stoves for cooking. The stoves--called eCocinas in Spanish--are made locally in El Salvador and are significantly more energy efficient and significantly reduce smoke and carbon emissions.
“Hanesbrands’ support of the community is important because they understand the needs of our families,” said Guadalupe Avalos, a resident of La Argentina who received an eCocina. “These stoves will not only save us money on firewood, but will also help us live healthier. We are very grateful to Hanesbrands for their support.”
Many rural Salvadorans rely on wood-burning stoves to cook meals inside their homes, which often do not have sufficient ventilation. As a result, they suffer from a high occurrence of respiratory diseases due to constant inhalation of smoke. The eCocinas use 60 percent less wood, emit 90 percent less smoke than traditional wood-burning stoves. The use of the donated stoves is expected to reduce the rate of respiratory illnesses, as well as the number of trees cut down for fuel.
Education Programs in Partnership with U.S. AID Hanesbrands has pledged $250,000 to support a new partnership between U.S. Agency for International Development and Glasswing International to enhance public education at four schools located in San Juan Opico, San Salvador, and Santa Tecla (located west of San Salvador).
The “Building Communities to Foster Youth Development” project is designed to connect private businesses with at-risk youth though volunteer programs in communities that are vulnerable to crime and violence. The schools serve more than 4,000 students, parents and community members.
Hanesbrands employee-volunteers will donate their time to teach skills such as art, English and public speaking to children and youth and will help train principals, teachers and parent committees in areas such as fund raising and school management.
“This initiative is an example of how the private sector, civil society and international donors can combine their resources, efforts and creativity to contribute to breaking the spiral of violence that plagues El Salvador,” said Mark Lopes, deputy assistant administrator for the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau at U.S. AID.
Volunteers will also pitch in to help renovate school buildings and improve educational infrastructure.
Doing the right thing is the basis for a successful business,” Fox said. “Improving access to health care, cleaner cooking technologies and education will better the lives Hanesbrands’ employees, their families and the communities where they live.”
Hanesbrands Inc. is a leading marketer of everyday basic apparel under some of the world’s strongest apparel brands, including Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, JMS/Just My Size, barely there, Wonderbra and Gear For Sports. The company sells T-shirts, bras, panties, men’s underwear, children’s underwear, socks, hosiery, casualwear and activewear produced in the company’s low-cost global supply chain. Hanesbrands has approximately 50,000 employees in more than 25 countries and takes pride in its strong reputation for ethical business practices. More information about the company and its corporate social responsibility initiatives, including environmental, social compliance and community improvement achievements, may be found on the Hanesbrands Internet website at www.hanesbrands.com. Hanesbrands is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2010 Energy Star Partner of the Year and ranks No. 91 on Newsweek magazine’s Top 500 greenest U.S. company rankings.