From doghouses to Habitat houses, Coverings '18 makes charitable connections at GWCC

Move over Snoopy, you’re not the only pup with a tricked-out doghouse.
Charlie Brown’s infamous pooch often decorated the gable roof of his iconic red abode to match the season, and it also served as an imaginary Sopwith Camel fighter plane during Snoopy’s World War I Flying Ace fantasies.
But he never had a customized doggie domicile styled with durable and decorative designer tile.

Custom doghouse built by Coverings ’18 exhibitor Lunada Baytile of California, designed by Feras Irikat, the company’s director of design and marketing.

Fourteen such custom-built tile doghouses are on display in the Art Tile Courtyard at Coverings ’18 at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) this week before being donated to the Homeless Pets Foundation, an Atlanta-based organization dedicated to finding permanent homes for dogs – and cats.
The tile dog house donation program is one of three main charitable initiatives benefiting the Atlanta area during the course of Coverings ’18, the largest international tile and stone show in North America, running through Friday (May 11) at the GWCC.

On Monday, Coverings exhibitors Mapei and Florida Tile, as well as the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), hosted a team competition at the GWCC to assemble 800 hygiene kits (examples pictured above) that will be distributed to needy military veterans in the Atlanta area via Clean the World, the world’s largest recycle of hotel soaps and toiletries.
Coverings is a massive undertaking, utilizing 400,000 square feet of exhibit space, occupying multiple exhibit halls in the GWCC’s Buildings B and C. Elaborate booths, some that resemble stand-alone tile stores, albeit some very upscale ones, and rows of tile and stone-related machinery, line the show floor. An estimated 14.5 million pounds of freight was shipped into the exhibit halls for Coverings ’18 – that’s more than 7 tons of tile, stone and other materials.
This leads directly to Covering’s third charitable initiative: there’s an abundance of refuse when the show is broken down, so Coverings partnered with general service contractor Freeman to donate leftover usable tile and building materials to Habitat for Humanity. The donated materials will go on sale to the public at Habitat’s Atlanta ReStore, with proceeds benefitting the organization’s mission of building affordable homes.
“We’re delighted to support these charitable initiatives that serve important segments of the Atlanta community at Coverings ’18,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “A major theme for Coverings ’18 is making connections, and on behalf of the tile and stone industry, we are looking forward to establishing meaningful connections with the beneficiaries of Habitat for Humanity, Clean the World, and the Homeless Pets Foundation in the local community.”

Meanwhile, Thursday afternoon as pups from the Homeless Pet Foundation wandered around and lazed about the enclosed Art Tile Courtyard (pictured above), the aforementioned tile doghouses were formally donated to the non-profit foundation, started by Atlanta-area veterinarian Michael Good, former medical director of the Fulton County Animal Shelter.
Good said the donated doghouses will be auctioned off, or included in adoption donation packages, raising funds to further the organization’s goals of saving animals’ lives – many of them slated to be euthanized by local shelters – through local adoptions and by transporting them to other parts of the country for adoption.
“We have a program called the Underhound Railroad where we take dogs and puppies from the South, rural parts of the South that have almost no chance of getting adopted, and send them up to great cities in the Northeast,” said Good. “I was kidding these guys earlier – the only problem with the Underhound Railroad is all these poor puppies have to grow up as Yankees.”