Industry Forms Nonprofit Group for Disaster Victims

The nonprofit organization formed for fashion and home goods firms to help disaster victims now has an official name: Fashion Delivers Charitable Foundation...

While Fashion Delivers does not accept monetary donations on a regular basis, it may from time to time conduct fund-raising activities to help defray overhead costs. Ellinger said through the assistance of K.I.D.S., Fashion Delivers should be able to operate on a "very low overhead cost structure."

"The project started out of the frustrations of a few wholesalers who wanted to make clothing donations, but didn't know how to coordinate them. Allan Ellinger inquired if Oxford was doing anything, which we were, and I explained [the company] had set up a donation and matching contributions fund," said Setola.

Darling said of his company's participation: "It's the right thing to do." His firm, which also donated goods when the tsunami hit Southeast Asia in December, will be providing home textiles and apparel items.

"We are prepared to be involved for the long [haul]. This is not a onetime contribution. It will take a number of years for Katrina victims to get back on their feet. Scientists said that we could be in a 20-year cycle, so the [Katrina disaster] is not the first and it won't be the last. We will contribute where we can," Darling said.

Senior advisers to the foundation include Marvin Sandberg, former chief operating officer of PCA Apparel; Norman Karr, former executive director of The Fashion Association, and Ed Kaminow, former president and chief executive officer of Westmill Clothes.

Several professional service firms, whose clients are in the fashion industry, have agreed to waive fees to assist the foundation.

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