The Communicating and Recognizing Excellence (CARE) team from Lakeland, Florida, strives to fulfill Hexion’s commitment to sustainability by encouraging employee engagement in the community. The team maintains an ongoing partnership with VISTE, an organization dedicated to enabling senior citizens to live at home independently, providing a variety of services that assist in their daily functions. CARE chose to start working with VISTE because of the rapidly rising number of senior citizens and retirees that have moved to the Lakeland area. Over time, some of these residents have grown unable to care for themselves unassisted. Some have lost their spouse or caretaker, while others simply have lost mobility with age.
“Committing to this program not only benefits the members of VISTE, but it also creates a strong sense of morale among Hexion employees as they witness the value in making a difference. In addition to the time spent collecting items, our team has contributed over 50 hours of service to VISTE in the past year,” commented John Bodie, Site Procurement Coordinator and CARE leader at Lakeland.
The CARE team at Lakeland consists of seven core members from various departments within the plant. These core members handle planning and coordination of the VISTE relationship, and they have been successful in attaining a plant-wide turnout of 90 percent or more for scheduled team events. Support for VISTE includes scheduled service days, where plant employees pack boxes for the elderly and assist in distribution efforts. Crucial items not fully covered by donations are collected. In February 2012, the team gathered jars of peanut butter, a vital source for protein and other nutrients, after a price increase made it unaffordable.
Ashley Miller, volunteer coordinator at VISTE, commented on CARE’s volunteer engagement saying, “Hexion employees recognize the needs of the community where they live and work. The volunteer efforts of the CARE team have made a positive impact on the 3,500 plus elderly clients VISTE serves. Whether it's collecting desperately needed food and personal care items, packing and sorting in our food pantry, or making a special delivery to a homebound senior, these individuals truly have a heart for serving others, for which we are so grateful.”