Through our efforts to reach our goal of 100,000 volunteer hours last year, we made some great memories along the way and had a huge impact in our communities around the world. We wanted to take a moment to highlight the top stories from some of our locations.
So, as we kick off 2017, let’s take a look back at the top 6 community impact stories of 2016.
1. Sulzbach, Germany
In September, Celanese leaders helped assembled hundreds of pieces of furniture to equip a soon-to-be refugee shelter in Frankfurt. The refugees are from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq and Iran. The teams worked quickly and effectively. Everyone was happy and tired by the end of the project. Celanese partnered with the refugee camp and the Sulzbach leaders proposed decorating a Christmas tree In December and Celanese employees delivered gifts to the kids.
We are looking forward to further projects with the refugees in 2017.
Did you know that one in 10 school girls in Africa miss school days or drop out of school due to their menstrual period because many of these young women having no access to safe, sanitary products? The Bishop Women’s Employee Resource Group came together along with their site leaders to cut, sew and assemble more than 500 “Sani-Panties,” which are washable, reusable sanitary napkins. These supplies will be sent to Africa and distributed to young women, allowing them to manage their menstrual cycles with clean, healthy sanitary products and stay in school.
The Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati, Ohio is one of the country’s largest providers of free food to the less fortunate. They rely 100 percent on donations and volunteering to be successful. In 2016, Celanese teamed up with the Free Store Foodbank, and the most impactful part of the volunteering event was at the Giving Fields. More than 60 Celanese employees from the Florence site helped prepare and plant an estimated 1,500 tomato plants, as well as weed, feed and harvest leading to approximately 30,000 pounds of fresh vegetables for the Freestore Foodbank and the surrounding communities.
Celanese Nanjing employees redeemed an estimated 80,000 RMB (over US $10,000) through the efforts of 100K-Hour volunteer challenge in 2016 to the Amity Foundation benefitting the Hopeful Hearts project and the Home of Blessings. Hopeful Hearts used this money to help provide surgeries and save two children whose families could not afford this service.
A positive impact spread at the Nanjing site through another project called the “Home of Blessings” led by the Amity Foundation. Through Amity, Celanese supported those who have Down’s Syndrome. More than 500 Celanese employees and their families were deeply moved by a performance given by special needs people cared for by the Amity Foundation and raised an additional 5,000 RMB auctioning blocks, puzzles and stationary packages to employees and families. An estimated 400 volunteer hours were achieved throughout this initiative.
In October the India office planned its volunteer project at Sangopita and spent a day at their young children’s education center and residential school in Badlaput, India. The team’s goal was to make the children feel a sense of belonging and a sense of empowerment. They also wanted to motivate teachers, instructors and staff. At the education center, volunteers saw how children with special needs work to make items such as lamps and cards which are sold by the institute. The team later visited classrooms and played with the children. At the end of the day, volunteers led a drawing competition. Trustees and teachers at Sangopita were extremely happy with Celanese’s visit and the India office hopes to continue volunteering with them in 2017.
Shanghai volunteers conducted a series of events with Huaxin Rehabilitation and Education Center for special needs children in 2016 including: monthly translation services to foreign charity clinics, providing financial support to the renovation of the facility, helping to repaint the activity room and corridor with low-VOC emulsion products from our Celanese lab. By utilizing the YourCause card matching by the Celanese Foundation, employees donated $2,000 to this charity.
Volunteers celebrated Chinese New Year by delivering gifts to 30 children at Huaxin to kick off 2017.