When Antonio and Lily Lyon took a trip to Spain in 2008, they were intrigued by what they saw at local gas stations: gloves provided for people to wear as they pumped gas, to avoid germs and contamination.
When the couple returned to the United States, they developed their own concept of the gloves, and in 2014 launched a company known as U-GLOVE.
“A number of infectious diseases are transmitted at the pump,” Antonio Lyon said. “Every time you go to the gas station, look for [the glove box]. It should be right by the handle.”
U-GLOVE is a South Florida-based company with headquarters in Miramar. It manufactures FDA-approved, hypoallergenic, recyclable, non-reusable gloves.
The gloves are available at more than 1,000 gas stations in nine states across the U.S.: California, Nevada, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, New York, Georgia and Florida.
Now, the company has embarked on a new venture: charity.
This year, U-Glove began sponsoring their gloves to Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit, Christian-driven organization that creates meals to be shipped to 70 countries worldwide, in hopes of ending world hunger.
“We were happy to be able to provide them with the gloves for the event and we just wanted to come as well and get involved and be able to volunteer,” Lily Lyon said. “This is our first event. We are looking to have a long-term relationship with them. We are excited to be able to be part of it.”
Fifty thousand gloves were donated for the five-day Feed My Starving Children event held at the Miami Dade County Fair and Expo Center.
The volunteers wore the gloves to pack bags filled with rice, soy, vitamins and vegetables.
“I think that when the time came and we considered supporting Feed My Starving Children, for me it was a matter of how can we help? What is it that we can do to help them out and the gloves came in handy. They had a need for it, and we had the gloves so I thought it would be something good to provide,” Antonio Lyon said.
Feed My Starving Children began in 1987 in Minnesota, as an initiative created to solve world hunger and malnutrition, by providing low-income countries with rice bags that contain the right amount of ingredients and nutrients that will feed a famished child.
Today, the organization has seven permanent locations around the country. They also do mobile packs, where they bring the food and packaging items to different states and do events such as the one in Miami, where the U-Gloves were sponsored.
“We are doing this in our own facility six days a week, 12 hours a day, and then we started doing mobile packing so that’s when we took what we did on the road to [other] communities, and Miami is a great community for us to come down to and not only is it great because of the volunteering and the participation, but so many of our partners around the world are headquartered here or work out of here,” said Mark Crea, CEO of Feed My Starving Children.
The Miami event hosted 30,000 volunteers throughout the five days, and 5.4 million meals were made, packaged and sent to Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
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For more information:
Visit fmsc.org and to find out about future events around the country. Contact Anthony Kasper, mobilepack development advisor, at AKasper@fmsc.org