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Worldbed Project Emerges As Not-For-Profit Charity

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The charitable initiative The WorldBed Project announced its emergence as a not-for-profit organization along with the appointment of its first board of directors.  The WorldBed Project has grown since the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, when mattress manufacturer Anatomic Global mobilized a team to fund the production and delivery of emergency cot-sized mattresses to displaced Haitians.

To raise awareness of its progress and seek partners in the home furnishings industry, The WorldBed Project will exhibit at the upcoming Las Vegas Market August 2 through 6 in the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) showroom, C-1350.  The space was donated by the SSA.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of the new directors of our board,” said The WorldBed Project Chairman and President Laura Castro.  “Each of these individuals brings their own experience with charitable causes on a national scale and I believe their expertise and leadership will be instrumental to the growth of the project.”

The board will be governed by Marketplace Properties President and Founder Michael Rue, member of the board of trustees for Xavier University; EcoCover President and Founder Scott Yardley; and United Cerebral Palsy COO Grant Dunning, chief executive officer and founder of Pacific Properties Investment Corp. 

The WorldBed Project aims to engage retailers and industry leaders in the program by providing more ways to serve people in need, whether in their local communities or abroad.

“We have developed the specifications, manufacturing and logistical program to make this a viable turnkey operation that can benefit people in need on local, regional and global

levels,” said Castro. “We welcome the participation of others in the home furnishings industry to join with us in support of our current project in Haiti. In addition, retailers can now look to WorldBed to help fulfill other missions in their own communities.”
The WorldBed Project assists participants with a range of collateral materials to provide consumers with information about the project.  Materials such as informational brochures, in-store signage and banners help to convey the mission of “Advocating Comfort.” 

In the months since the earthquake in Haiti, The WorldBed Project received support from dozens of organizations ranging from single-location retail outlets to large retail chains, major furnishings industry suppliers and world-renown philanthropic and disaster relief groups.  Partners who have supported the effort to date include Relax The Back, Leggett & Platt, FXI Foamex Innovations, Deslee Textiles USA, Royal Packaging, Brookwood Companies, World Hope International, World Vision, CARE and Parakletos International.

More than 12,000 beds have been delivered to Haiti. Several thousand of these transitional mattress products will continue to be shipped, while the project expands its services to other third-world countries, disaster relief/response areas and local community efforts.

The specially designed mattresses are made of visco-memory foam and conventional foam. To provide moisture resistance during rainy season, the beds are encased in a rugged nylon and vinyl cover.  Each WorldBed can be rolled up and carried over one’s shoulder with an attached strap.

The WorldBed Project started during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 with Anatomic Global, the Corona, California-based manufacturer of memory foam sleep products. The company mobilized a team to make and distribute over 3,000 beds to people temporarily housed in the Cajun Dome.  When the 7.0 earthquake hit near Port-au-Prince, Haiti in January 2010, individuals from The WorldBed Project mobilized a new team to Haiti to assess the situation and then began to provide donations of specialized 3-inch water resistant, medical-grade covered foam disaster relief beds.  

Thanks to support of donations and sponsors and validation from top NGOs, WorldBed now operates independently as a not-for-profit company.  Anatomic Global will continue to be the major sponsor of WorldBed, which includes the donation of its first quarter profits. For more information, visit www.WorldBed.org.

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