NEWPORT COAST — When local philanthropic couple Jeff and Jackie Bird arrived home after participating in the Haiti relief efforts, they made plans to start a chain reaction that would bring ongoing help to the families devastated by the January 2010 earthquake.
The couple immediately set to work launching the Catalyst, the first line of timepieces from Epic International. The Birds' newly founded company pledges to provide clean water to Third World countries with every watch sold — beginning with Haiti for the one-year anniversary of the quake.
"We came back from Haiti just wanting to make an impact on these people's lives," Jeff Bird said of the summer trip he made with his wife of four years. "It wasn't enough to just go on trip and help with construction but we wanted to do something that would really make a lasting impact on their lives."
Despite having traveled to impoverished parts of South America and Europe, Bird said that he was still shocked at the level of poverty in which the Haitians were living eight months after the devastation.