Melaleuca: Bringing Hope to Victims of Hurricane Ian, Nicole

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Melaleuca may be best known for its affordable, better-for-your health wellness products, but this Idaho-based company has also made a name for itself based on its charitable giving.  

As one of the largest online wellness shopping clubs, Melaleuca is in a position to do a lot of good for the world. And under Frank VanderSloot’s leadership, they have taken that responsibility and opportunity very seriously. 

Since 2001, when VanderSloot was moved to help first responders and their families after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Melaleuca has operated the Melaleuca Foundation to provide relief after disasters strike. Although the Foundation prioritizes natural disaster relief, they step in to support a variety of worthy organizations. The Melaleuca Foundation’s generosity has been able to fund education, food banks, 4-H, an orphanage, their local police force and much more. 

When Hurricane Ian impacted Florida’s Gulf coast, VanderSloot jumped into action — just like he did following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Harvey, Irma, and Maria. He personally led an effort to pack the company jet with 34 new electric generators, power strips, gas cans and Melaleuca products, which included 1,000 bottles of Sol-U-Mel, a cleaning product. These supplies then made their way to a private airport in Naples, Florida. In order to get the supplies distributed to families in distress, VanderSloot contacted Melaleuca customers who live in the area.  

Sarah Rankin, who lives in Bradenton, Florida, was one of the customers who received a text message from VanderSloot that asked her to call him. According to an article in the East Idaho News, Rankin joined other Melaleuca customers in picking up and distributing relief items throughout Cape Coral, Fort Myers, North Port, Arcadia, and Naples, which were all hit especially hard by the Category 4 storm.  

Melaleuca’s relief efforts after Hurricane Ian didn’t stop with that one plane. They also paid for a truckload of bottled water to be delivered to Pine Island; donated food, hygiene and cleaning products through Christ Community Church in Naples; and worked with the American Red Cross to provide $30,000 worth of food to those housed in temporary shelters.  

A few weeks later, after Hurricane Nicole struck, Melaleuca immediately responded when the American Red Cross called them for more supplies. The nonprofit was running low on healthy snack bars for their shelters. Hours later, Melaleuca delivered another $35,000 worth of product to restock the supply warehouses.  

Melaleuca and VanderSloot’s generosity and sincere interest in helping others is of no surprise to those who know the company well. Rankin described their involvement in this way: “What I’ve come to know about Frank VanderSloot and Melaleuca is they do all the good they can, by all the means they can, all the times they can, for all the people that they can.” 

Giving Back Is Part of Melaleuca’s Company Culture 

While VanderSloot has grown Melaleuca from just a startup into a multinational corporation that now has over 400 wellness products and 4,500 employees, its focus on developing superior products has been the secret that has caused this privately held company to consistently grow year after year. Customers remain loyal to Melaleuca, demonstrated by an exceptionally high month-to-month reorder rate that hovers around 96%.  

But with their prioritization of customer and employee satisfaction, as well as their mission “to enhance the lives of those we touch by helping people reach their goals,” Melaleuca may be in a position to do more good than the average company. After all, a privately held company like Melaleuca is not chained to maximizing shareholder value, which allows it to take a different approach to philanthropy than a public company. 

Perhaps that is why Melaleuca employees typically stay with the company for years longer than the national average, citing a positive company culture as a reason why they stay.  

Melaleuca may have found the secret sauce: take good care of communities, customers and employees, and then they’ll take care of your company.  


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