Parts Life, Inc.

The Thevanayagam family: Dylan, Nick, Danilyn, Sam, Mya, Savannah and Micah


As a child growing up in Sri Lanka, Sam Thevanayagam took “the Law of Generosity” to heart.

“My mother taught me that to whom much is given, much is expected,” says Thevanayagam, President & CEO of Parts Life, Inc.’s family of companies. “That’s the ‘Law of Generosity.’ Because we were blessed to have what we needed, it was very important to help others.”

For him, creating a culture of generosity and caring starts in the home – but it is also integral to the mission of Parts Life, the Moorestown-based business he started 15 years ago that works with the U.S. Department of Defense to provide high-quality parts for military equipment. Parts Life is also the parent company of North Philadelphia-based DeVal Lifecycle Support, an original equipment manufacturer of components, parts, and armament support equipment for the military. Another Parts Life company is LC Engineers, Inc., a Rahway-based contract manufacturer and supplier of military, aerospace and high-reliability electromechanical and commercial electronic assemblies.

On the South Jersey homefront, the Thevanayagams put the Law of Generosity into practice last year when the family – he, his wife Danilyn and their 5 children – decided to forgo buying Christmas gifts for each other and instead donated what they would have spent to an orphanage in India. The funds were used to spread joy among the orphan children.

“It was a way for all of us to make a sacrifice to help others,” he says. “You feel more invested when you have skin in the game.”

“My purpose is to create an environment where others can achieve their God-given potential.”

Orphans in India (above) and a cricket team (below) sponsored by the SamT Network

And while Parts Life’s mission is to address some of the U.S. military’s most critical readiness issues, Thevanayagam says the company’s commitment goes far beyond that. He includes improving the lives of employees and their communities as another part of the company’s mission.

“My purpose is to create an environment where others can achieve their God-given potential,” he says.

One of the most impactful ways Parts Life improves lives is through its innovative home loan program called Help U Buy, or HUB. Home ownership, Thevanayagam says, is about far more than just laying down roots.

“When you own your first home, that sets you up for everything else. It gives you stability,” he says. “When I started Parts Life in 2007, I sold my house and downsized to use that capital to get into the business. Then, 4 years ago, when I bought DeVal out of bankruptcy, I used my house as collateral.”

“We want every single person who works for us,” he adds, “to be part of the American Dream.”

Another way Parts Life helps employees move up the ladder is through the company’s Benevolence Fund, a source of cash available to employees to use for unplanned expenses, such as illness or major home repairs. The fund is fueled by the sale of scrap aluminum and other metals, which are byproducts of the manufacturing of parts. “Rather than selling the scrap to make a profit for the business, we use it to take care of our people’s needs,” Thevanayagam says.

The company also promotes healthy eating by stocking work refrigerators with meals and snacks during work hours. “I didn’t want employees to have to spend money on lunch while on the job,” he says. “It’s meant for lunch, but they’re welcome to it at any time.” An exception to that rule was the month of December when, with employee buy-in, Parts Life donated the money that would have otherwise been used to purchase that food to send to local missions addressing homelessness.

“It’s a great way not only for the company to do something – we challenged our employees to make a personal sacrifice as well,” Thevanayagam says, “so the spirit of generosity is not just practiced by the company but by individuals as well.”

Case in point is an initiative led by Jeannie Whitfield, Parts Life’s Vice President of Market Insight and Business Intelligence. Her team has been providing a holiday meal, gifts and groceries to the women and children of Catholic Social Services Visitation Homes in Philadelphia.

“Their mission of serving previously homeless mothers and their children is so important for helping these women regain stability in their lives,” says Whitfield. “As a team, we are very fortunate and believe in giving back to our community.”

With the goal of making a greater impact worldwide, Thevanayagam wrote “The First 10 Runs in Singles,” a motivational book focused on how the game of cricket can teach valuable lessons. He also founded the SamT Network, a faith-based foundation that brings cricket to young adults in Southeast Asia and Africa to provide new opportunities in impoverished communities.

“We set up cricket clubs in every major city and are using these clubs as a way to build individual and social capital,” he says. “When they come together to play sports they’re also learning the game of life. I truly believe God has called on me to be a good steward and to teach others to understand generosity. Generosity is not only something I do but teach others to do as it is better to give than to receive.”


Eh Doh Lwe (right) and the Rev. Timothy Tran of Parts Life at Eh Doh’s new house

The newest Parts Life homeowner

Eh Doh Lwe has come a long way to homeownership. Before the DeVal Quality Team member emigrated to the United States with his family at 13, he was living in a tented refugee community in Thailand. His family was forced to flee their home in Burma due to religious persecution.

Now 24, Lwe was able to purchase his first home through the company’s Help U Buy (HUB) program. Through HUB, Lwe took advantage of a forgivable loan. Employees work it off through service over the course of 5 years, with no additional responsibilities. Several dozen employees have taken advantage of HUB.

“It’s mutually beneficial,” says Thevanayagam, “because it’s helping people become more valuable to the organization and themselves.”