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NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: Do it Best reinforces its commitment to the community

We believe Do it Best Corp.’s creation of a foundation to distribute grants to organizations that align with its goals and generate the biggest impact to make their communities great places to live, work and play significantly reinforces the company’s commitment to Fort Wayne and Allen County.

When Do it Best announced its plans to become the anchor tenant for the Electric Works development on Broadway, we praised the decision as a huge positive. The move demonstrates the company’s commitment to staying in Fort Wayne and its affirmation of what could be one of the biggest economic development projects here in this century.

Now based in New Haven, Do it Best Corp. is a member-owned hardware, lumber and building materials buying cooperative with annual sales nearing $4 billion. It serves thousands of member-owned locations across the U.S. as well as in more than 50 other countries.

Last week’s announcement of the launch of its new foundation was an exclamation point to the company’s dedication to all things local, not only here but in communities around the world where the company has a presence.

“Do it Best has a long tradition of supporting local causes and agencies that are committed to serving the needs of others,” President and CEO Dan Starr said in a statement. “We have been inspired to take that commitment to the next level with the formation of the Do it Best Foundation, where we look forward to offering even more support to community organizations and initiatives.”

A news release on the company’s website says a committee is being created to review requests for funding. It said the new foundation will focus on four key areas for its charitable giving: health and wellness; youth enrichment; the arts; and community.

The fund continues to grow, according to Alex Wulpi, PR and social media account executive for Ferguson Advertising. “Available grants will be dependent on the volume and amounts of the requests we feel most closely align with our areas of focus.”

Wulpi said organizations interested in funding have to meet three criteria: 1. be a registered 501(c)(3); 2. be geographically focused on one of the communities in which Do it Best employees live and/or work; 3. align with the four main focus areas.

Baby Box works in New Haven

We continue to support the use of Safe Haven Baby Boxes as a means of legally and safely surrendering newborn infants that might otherwise face illegal abandonment. The latest infant anonymously surrendered was in a baby box at a fire station in New Haven on Feb. 19.

Reports of infant abandonment throughout the country, some resulting in the death of newborn babies, continues even with the establishment of the Safe Haven Law in every state for the past several years.

Founded by firefighter Monica Kelsey of nearby Woodburn, where the first baby box was installed in 2016, Safe Haven dedicated the New Haven box on Dec. 31. It is one of 21 active baby boxes in Indiana. Currently there are a total of 25 Safe Haven baby boxes in three states.

The infant surrendered in the New Haven baby box was transported to a local hospital. It is the sixth baby surrendered in a baby box in the past two years in Indiana. Safe Haven reports it has helped 70 women and infants with safe surrenders nationwide, assisted with six adoption plans and referred hundreds to pregnancy crisis centers.

The organization has a 24-hour hotline (1-866-99BABY1) for mothers in crisis and offers a last resort option for women.