Additional programs focus on the well-being of children.

(L-R) Felecia Thompson, Efrain Perez Jr. and Michael Smart in the Chicago Storehouse facility. Photos by Pat Lenius.

Since 1995, the Storehouse of World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, has provided more than $50 million worth of building materials to communities in need with the help of corporate partners including Kohler, Moen, The Home Depot, Your “other” Warehouse, Hajoca, Supply New England, DuPont, Mansfield Plumbing, Elkay Manufacturing, Grohe, Delta Faucet, Masco Corp., and Globe Union Group.

This year the organization has focused on creating an integrated platform of services and values for its donors and corporate friends.

“Building materials are still the key ingredient, but we want to deepen our relationships to go beyond building materials,” said Efrain Perez Jr., corporate relations director, Kitchen and Bath, of World Vision.

Manufacturers and distributors can become “trusted advisors” in areas that benefit their bottom line by getting rid of excess inventory but also help to implement corporate giving via other Storehouse of World Vision programs. Examples include: Free learning and classroom tools for teachers through its Teacher Resource Center and new backpacks filled with school supplies for distribution at homeless shelters and low-income properties; “Essential Needs” such as clothing, shoes, personal care items and household goods distributed by ministry partners to families in need; supplies reserved for emergency relief efforts; caregiver kits for those helping victims of AIDS; and a Youth Empowerment program.

The Teacher Resource Center at the Harrison Street Storehouse facility in Chicago is serving 100 Chicago public schools and expanding to selected Catholic schools, according to Michael Smart, general manager. He oversees the display area, warehousing and staff. “Our main purpose is to transform communities and assure the well-being of children,” Smart said.

Felecia Thompson is the Midwest regional leader and directs the Youth Empowerment program in Chicago, which teaches young people how to lobby for specific issues.

Efrain Perez Jr. shows Ann Sacks tile donated by Kohler.

“We provide them with 20 weeks of training,” Thompson said. “This year our lobbying efforts will focus on reducing the school drop-out rate, which contributes to gang violence and drugs. We will send the youth to Washington, D.C., to meet with state legislators and representatives and discuss their concerns.”

World Vision can help companies with a corporate giving Web site, providing set up and management services.

“This is an added value to our relationship,” Perez said. “World Vision operates the Web site for the company. We invite companies to see the services we offer and determine what matches their strategies and desires. We will work with them. We want to be a one-stop shop for our corporate partners.”

In spite of the economic downturn, last year the Storehouse of World Vision brought in more than $11 million in plumbing products compared with the prior year’s donations of about $7 million in plumbing products.

“Wholesalers and distributors still hold a great deal of excess inventory,” Perez noted. In 2011 the Storehouse anticipates some slowdown in product donations as companies have been reducing their inventories. This could lead to smaller quantities but greater variety of product, he said.

The Storehouse offers plumbing products, windows, doors, bath accessories, flooring and tile to low income families and the local ministries that serve them. World Vision has 10 warehouses in the United States serving the Midwest, East Coast, South, West Coast and Pacific Northwest. For more information,

Photo courtesy of Your “other” Warehouse

Your “other” Warehouse Donates School Supplies

Plumbing master distributor Your “other” Warehouse (YOW) partnered with World Vision to provide students of Lanier Elementary School in Baton Rouge, LA, with school supplies.

YOW donated $5,000 worth of school supplies through the SchoolTools program offered by the Storehouse of World Vision. YOW employees volunteered to help assemble backpacks filled with crayons, notebooks, rulers and other school supplies, and wrote notes of encouragement to the students.

Photo courtesy of Your “other” Warehouse

This is the first year that YOW has partnered with World Vision for a SchoolTools event, but the company has supported this non-profit organization for 10 years, primarily through donating overstock products.

In addition, earlier this summer YOW and Home Depot partnered to restore and update the school. Volunteers painted, moved furniture, helped with landscaping and assisted in other renovation chores.

Your “other” Warehousewas founded in Baton Rouge in 1987 as a spin-off of the LCR Corp. and today operates as part of The Home Depot.