Local Business Owners Urge Others to Stop Pointing Fingers and Start Taking Action to Help Katrina's Victims

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Local businessmen Carlos Gavidia and Lon Gaddy, owners of Universal Debit & Credit Corporation (UDC), are in Long Beach, Mississippi today making a much-needed delivery of supplies to that community.

Local businessmen Carlos Gavidia and Lon Gaddy, owners of Universal Debit & Credit Corporation (UDC), are in Long Beach, Mississippi today making a much-needed delivery of supplies to that community. Gavidia and Gaddy left their office in Chantilly, VA yesterday morning with a convoy of three tractor-trailers loaded with supplies from their grassroots efforts. Arrangements have been made with UDC's business partner Triton Systems, manufacturer of Automated Teller Machines, (ATMs), and the American Red Cross to drop the goods at a coordinated distribution center that has been setup at Triton's headquarters in Long Beach, MS.

“Carlos & I have always been proactive in everything we do. We knew that Triton had over 50% of their employees lose everything in the hurricane and the whole community needed help. We kept hearing reports of what was needed and we made a decision to do whatever it takes to get these people what they need,” said Gaddy, Chief Operating Officer of UDC.

Gavidia, President/CEO of UDC added, “While people are pointing fingers at this agency and that agency, there are people starving and dying from a lack of basic supplies. We took action and we urge others to do the same! We know that 100% of what we collect goes to these people. No middle-men, no red tape!”

This whole effort started last week as the two men watched the news and saw people in dire need of the most basic requirements for life while waiting for the government to come to the rescue. They decided they could not sit on the sidelines and took it upon themselves to come up with a plan of action. They immediately started making calls to purchase MRE's and water. By Friday evening, September 2nd they had arranged to purchase 23,040 gourmet MRE's and 4,620 one-gallon jugs of water and had made arrangements for two tractor-trailers to deliver the goods.

From there they sent out a simple email on Friday night telling friends, family and business associates of their plans and urging others to do something to get involved and help. That email yielded an enormous outpouring of donated goods appearing on the doorstep of the UDC office on Tuesday morning, since Monday the office was closed because of Labor Day. By Tuesday night the staff and friends of UDC had enough goods boxed up to fill half of a tractor-trailer and more items were coming. The other half of the trailer was reserved to pick-up goods on Wednesday morning collected at South County Secondary School in Lorton, VA.

When they saw the response their emails yielded, the men decided that there was a need for more than one trip, so as the donated goods continued to flow into UDC from other grassroots efforts, they made arrangements for two more tractor trailers to arrive for loading at 10AM Saturday, September 10, to make another trip to Long Beach, MS.

“We are humbled and almost overwhelmed by the outpouring of donations that keep arriving at our office,” said Tara Wiktor, UDC's Director of Marketing and coordinator of the efforts while Gavidia and Gaddy are away from the office.

Gavidia and Gaddy are not satisfied with just helping in the short term. They are in the process of creating a non-profit organization called The Natural Disaster Relief Foundation to collect funds to continue to help the victims.

In closing Gavidia adds, “We are basically just two sales guys that in less than a week delivered food, water and essential supplies to these people. If we can help, anyone can.”

To follow the progress of this effort, please visit http://www.udcc.com. The page is updated almost daily with information of their journey.

People wishing to help are urged to call 703-467-2870 for more information.

About Universal Debit and Credit

Universal Debit & Credit Corporation was founded by Lonnie D. Gaddy and Carlos Gavidia, and has been marketing credit and debit card acceptance, ATM services, EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer), check services, pre-paid services, gift cards and customer loyalty programs to merchants in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1994. UDC partners with industry leaders like National Processing Company, Triton Systems, Hypercom, Lipman Systems, VeriFone, and now Genpass to bring our clients a winning combination of technology and value.

For more information, contact:

Carlos Gavidia

Office: 703-481-7000

Cell: 703-929-0054

Fax: 703-467-2888

Website: http://www.udcc.com

Lon Gaddy

Office: 703-481-7000

Cell: 703-929-0055

Fax: 703-467-2888

Website: http://www.udcc.com

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