The world's largest anufacturer of Christmas gift wrap plans to package up all profits from sales of yellow ribbon and ship them off to the USO.
Memphis-based Cleo Inc. and its parent, Gibson Greetings Inc. of Cincinnati, are the first U.S. companies to pledge all profits from the sale of a product to the United Service Organizations, a private, non-profit agency that helps U.S. military personnel and their families around the globe.Michael Pietrangelo, president and chief executive officer of Cleo, the largest maker of Christmas wrapping in the world, said the company goal is to help Americans show support for U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf.
"We've had a tremendous request for yellow ribbons from our customers, but we haven't filled those requests yet because we just didn't want to make a profit off of the war," said Pietrangleo.
He said he was uncertain how much money the USO will reap from Cleo.
Cleo began manufacturing yellow ribbons at its ribbon extruder plant in Trenton, Tenn., last week.
"I suppose it's Cleo's way of contributing something to our military men and women that's totally non-commercial," said Laine Sutten, a corporate accounts manager for the USO.
"So far Cleo and its parent compay Gibson Greetings are the only groups that have stepped forward to contribute all profits to the USO."
Other U.S. companies have tied marketing campaigns to donations and pledged a percentage of product sales to the USO, said Sutten.
In addition, five U.S. companies - Arco, AT&T, Anheuser Busch, Coca Cola and American International Group - each gave $500,000 as seed money to form the USO's Persian Gulf fund.
The USO will use the money to support its efforts in the Persian Gulf, including the operation of mobile vans equipped with a large-screen televisions, cellular telephones, soda fountains, popcorn machines and reading material.