Adventure Medical Kits - Adventure Discussions

AMK Heatsheets Bivvy Donation

By Nate Offenberg, Product Manager at AMK

Once in a while, a project comes across my desk that makes me truly happy.  I have to admit – I have a pretty sweet gig here at Adventure Medical Kits.  As AMK’s Product Manager, I get to design the best medical kits and survival tools in the industry and I get to do it with a lot of people who I really like (and I’m not just saying that because they will eventually stumble onto this blog) – it really is a great job.  That said, there are always projects that take the cake, and this project in particular was perhaps the one I am most proud of this year.

Last week, on a late and unseasonably cold December night, our Quality Control Manager came to me to inform me that we had about 200 of our Heatsheet Bivvy Sacks that unfortunately could not be sold – the color was a below our stringent standards and the weight of the product was a bit heavier than our specifications.  At first I was a bit miffed – nobody likes to scrap good product.  I sat at my desk for a long while and brainstormed – what could somebody do with nearly 200 perfectly functional, slightly off color, highly heat reflective bivvy sacks? – Then it hit me – I should give them to the people who need them the most.  Not professional athletes, not light and fast through-hikers, not search and rescue professionals– none of these.

I would give these bivvys to those less fortunate – those who have no-where to call home and little to call their own.  My original emotion of disappointment in the product failure quickly turned to pure joy.  You know Heatsheets as the ultimate thermal blanket for emergency situations but they are also absolutely ideal for those who live outdoors.  The pliable, thin material is significantly more durable than your standard emergency blanket ensuring many uses, and the coating reflects more than 90% of your heat making even the coldest of nights bearable.

The next day, I took my lunch break to write instructions that were less geared to core outdoor adventures and more geared to the homeless in my area.  Along with the help of my co-workers, we bagged each of the Heatsheet Bivvy’s, bundled them with instructions, and prepared them for donation.  It didn’t take long for me to find a highly recommended non-profit facility called the Multi Agency Service Center for Self Sufficiency which operates a small supply dispensary out of Berkeley.  I went down there the next day and suffice to say, the Heatsheets were a HUGE hit – I gave nearly all of them away before I even made it in the door.  It’s like Winston Churchill says, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Experts say that there are over 25,000 homeless people in the Bay Area and the Federal Government estimates that on any given night in 2008, there were approximately 675,000 people without homes in the US.  This is a huge problem and although I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I take a lot of satisfaction out of the fact that 200 of these people are sleeping a lot warmer and will be a lot more comfortable during this winter season thanks to Adventure Medical Kits.

One Response to “AMK Heatsheets Bivvy Donation”

  1. Kelly Stodola Says:

    I am going to the Shot Show in Orlando next week and popped onto your site. This story really caught my eye – good for you and for Adventure Medical Kits

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