Born in Haiti as the youngest of eight, Eclesiaste Germain is no stranger to hardship. He was just three months old when his father passed away, and his hard-working mother kept the family fed and clothed with the help of donations from their community and church—a blessing she taught her children never to forget. “She told us ‘Everything I give you is what people give me, and when you guys grow up do the same thing. Feed someone when you have it.’”
So when Germain moved to South Florida in 2001, he wasted no time putting those lessons to work. He took a job with City Furniture as a Service Tech, and noticed that when customers purchased new mattresses, the old ones were getting thrown away. Knowing that many could still be put to good use, he got CEO Keith Koenig’s support to start collecting them for donation to Haiti. Over the last 14 years, Germain has arranged countless deliveries, using half the mattresses as payment for shipping, and giving the rest to his church to donate or sell for medical funds, food, and schooling for 116 children.