When our journey began to create Flip 54, we wanted to help under privileged children get a good night's sleep. In our hearts we wanted to help as many children in as many countries but the reality of being a new business was that we didn't have the infrastructure or resources in place yet. We had to start somewhere so we began to focus our efforts on a country that was close to my husband’s heart.
In the seventies & eighties, the African country of Ethiopia was victim to civil war, draught, famine and economic crisis. He often told me stories from when he was growing up and would see infomercials on TV showing children in Ethiopia living in such poverty and sleeping on the streets. It had a real impact on him and he’s always wanted to help there. When we talked about where we could start our giving mission, Ethiopia was the first country that came to mind. It also helped that one of our friend’s, Michael, is from there and when the idea was just in its conceptual stages, he and his family helped us get our offices and giving partners established.
We were informed by many charitable organizations that mattresses are one of the most requested items, but there aren’t nearly enough donated to meet the overwhelming demand. With so many of life's necessities that these children didn't have, we wanted to be sure they were really going to benefit from a good night's sleep.
Even before we had a final product design, we had asked Michael to arrange a distribution of mattresses on behalf of our family. We wanted his true feedback on how much it helped the children. After our first mattress distribution, he called and I asked him, “So were the children happy? Did they like their new mattresses?” I could feel Michael’s big smile through the phone as he replied, “Oh yes they loved them! One mother said my son has not been dreaming because he's had nothing to sleep on and now he will have sweet dreams for the first time.” That sealed it for me. With instant tears of joy streaming down my eyes, I knew we had to keep going and no matter how many challenges we faced, and believe me there's been many along the way, we needed to continue our mission in helping the world sleep better and Ethiopia was the country where we would start.
Together, along with our entire giving team and customers we hope to give a good night's sleep to as many children as
possible and hopefully in the future as many countries as possible.