MISSION VIEJO, Calif. – The pest management industry has a long history of service to others. Whether through community outreach efforts in thousands of cities and towns throughout the United States or global initiatives designed to fight malaria and other insect-borne diseases in third-world countries, the industry is known for its big heart.
Earlier this month, for instance, a delegation from NPMA traveled to Haiti on a two-day mission to provide professional pest management services to that beleaguered nation, which suffered a devastating earthquake in January that resulted in more than 230,000 deaths and 300,000 injuries.
On Monday, another example of the industry’s generosity will be on display when Bruce Donoho, owner of Bird-B-Gone, travels to West Africa with representatives of Children of the Nation® to lay the groundwork for construction of an orphanage in Liberia. PCT magazine recently had an opportunity to interview Donoho about his upcoming trip.
PCT: What is prompting you to take this trip and give of your time to this worthy cause?
Donoho: When I was 9-10 years old, I lived in Liberia with my family. My father was a civil engineer in charge of building a harbor along the coast, and a railroad from the harbor to the iron ore fields about 200 miles inland.
This was quite an experience on a number of different levels. It shaped my life. I always wondered about the “haves” and the “have not’s” in the world. Why did “we” have so much….and “everyone else” in Liberia has so little?
Forty years passed: College, marriage, kids and building a business. In May of 2009, Chris Clark, founder of Children of the Nations addressed my church congregation about their missions in Africa. They currently have four successful orphanages/children’s villages in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda and the Dominican Republic. He mentioned that he grew up in Liberia, the child of missionaries. This was a remarkable coincidence.
We have since developed a good relationship, and in October, 2009 he asked me to join him on a faith journey to Sierra Leone and to Liberia to start a new mission…to save children. I eagerly said “Yes.”
PCT: How long has the trip been in the works and what type of preparation has been required?
Donoho: After receiving “direction”, I presented my vision to my Bird-B-Gone family (our employees) about this situation. Our company – our family – was 100% supportive. Maybe they just wanted me to get out of the office for a while.
PCT: What do you hope to accomplish on the trip?
Donoho: Ultimately, we want to save one life. We will be searching for the best place in Liberia to start an orphanage. C.O.T.N. currently has people on the ground in Liberia doing this. We will be visiting these areas, evaluating various possibilities. Ultimately, we want to help people to “help themselves” – to open doors that have been closed for a long time.
PCT: How can the industry follow your travels?
Donoho: I will be communicating through a blog. However, where I am going in Sierra Leone (the current orphanage) and Liberia (the future facility), Internet access is limited. But we will do the best we can.
PCT: How can others in the industry help if they’re interested?
Donoho: Positive thoughts and prayer! When I get back, I know that there will be countless ways for the pest control industry to help. A huge problem in Africa is mosquitoes (malaria) and pests in general.