IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Melaleuca Wellness Company is doing its part in relief efforts following Hurricane Maria.
The company, which has a distribution center in Puerto Rico, sent 18 generators, which weighed a total of 2,000 pounds, and 2,000 pounds of beef jerky to Puerto Rico yesterday. Six of the 18 generators were donated or given at a discount from local Idaho Falls businesses. The beef jerky was donated by Golden Valley Natural.
"Because of the folks that are just the kindness of their heart, able to help out on the ground, and we've got resources that we can send and help people with," Frank VanderSloot, CEO of Melaleuca, said. "We feel like we're really fortunate that none of these disasters have hit our area. And we gotta help there the folks that have been impacted by these things."
Not only did the plane take donations, but it brought people back as well. VanderSloot tweeted out that the plane was available to bring 10 people back to the U.S. They got hundreds of calls and decided based on who needed the most help. Three of the people they brought back had medical emergencies. They brought most to Ft. Lauderdale, but one person came back to Idaho Falls and was then taken to Salt Lake City.
"It's hard to know what to do," VanderSloot said. "We decided we needed to get in there and do what we could do."
They also sent a truck load of Melaleuca goods two weeks ago, which just recently arrived.
This is the fourth natural disaster in just a few weeks that Melaleuca has donated to. They sent trucks to Texas and Louisiana following Hurricane Harvey. After Hurricane Irma, they sent trucks to Florida. They also sent donations to Mexico following the recent earthquake.
"We take it a day at a time. We find out what people need," VanderSloot said. "We see what we've got and what we can give."
They are also partnering with the Red Cross to donate items to hygiene kits.