An 11-year-old girl's heartbreak over losing her 17-year-old sister in a texting-while-driving accident inspired the gift of a vertical carousel to help console the little girl. Normally, this application of industrial equipment would make absolutely no sense, but neither did losing a loved one over a text message.
Turns out, this 11-year-old Wellman, Tex. girl is an avid craftsperson. This fact was learned by the producers of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Nate Galui, a design producer for the show, had seen the carousel system on the website of Southwest Solutions Group. While touring this company's showroom in Dallas, Galui also saw a unique automated product that the company donated for use in a future episode. That's when the connection between an industrial storage system and a little girl was made.
Southwest Solutions Group was eager to help this family in need, so it donated and installed this sophisticated carousel storage system typically used in hospital and manufacturing environments. For this special makeover, the system was converted into a “craft suite” that now provides compact storage for all of the little girl's craft items.
“Many at our company have teenage children and we feel deeply for this family's tremendous loss,” said Rich Riemer, vice president and principal of Southwest Solutions Group. “Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous. We wanted to be involved because we can identify with this important issue.”
In addition to this personal donation, for every vertical carousel it sells during 2011, Southwest Solutions will make a monetary donation to a new national “don't text and drive” organization founded by the Texas family in honor of their 17-year-old daughter.
This story warms the heart and chills it at the same time. If you're a parent, share it with your kids. Tell them you have an interesting material handling story to tell them. When they're done laughing at that strange sentence, tell them the rest of the story. Its twist should focus their attention on an important lesson. Keeping that focus sharp will be your ongoing challenge—as every parent knows.