The community spirit was alive and well this holiday season within the hundreds of Koch employees who came together to support their neighbors in need. Through employee-led initiatives, their combined efforts made a profound impact on their home communities – from Atlanta to Phoenix to Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Offices across multiple Koch companies (including Flint Hills Resources, Koch Business Solutions, Molex, Georgia-Pacific, Guardian Industries, INVISTA and Koch Industries) gave back in different ways, providing presents for more than 2,140 kids, collecting more than 1,430 pounds of food, sponsoring 50 senior citizens, adopting 11 families, supplying 150 students in need with clothing and gifts from Santa, and more.
In Wichita, Kansas, Koch Industries’ main office continued its tradition of helping the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, which collects toys for boys and girls in the community. This year, employees brought in more than 1,350 gifts for Wichita-area kids, while 275 employees donated their time purchasing, collecting and distributing gifts.
“Koch was a miracle in helping us with what they did,” said Craig Davis, director of community engagement with the Salvation Army. “Putting bikes together, the collection of toys, shopping for toys at area businesses … the way they distributed – it’s unbelievable.”
Across the country in Reno, Nevada, one unique donation to the students at Agnes Risley Elementary School has already been put to good use. Here, in Mrs. Deriso’s first-grade class, yoga equipment donated by Koch Business Solutions is helping at-risk students by providing an alternative outlet to manage stress in a healthy, positive way.
“My students were beyond thrilled,” said Deriso. “Sometimes they don’t get much for Christmas, so when we received this gift, they said it was like their Christmas presents showing up.”
Learn more about these donations and take a closer look at how Koch employees helped their local communities by clicking through our holiday giving slideshow below.
At Agnes Risley Elementary School in Reno, Nevada, at-risk youth have already benefitted from classroom yoga sessions thanks in part to yoga equipment gifted by employees at Koch Business Solutions (KBS). The donation was an easy decision once employees saw the impact an existing yoga program was having on the students. Said Kevin Spiares, director of strategy and innovation with KBS:
“These kids are in a pretty rough part of town. Yoga provides an outlet and teaches them how to handle stress in unique and positive ways. It focuses on them building their self-esteem and confidence, and that they can achieve their goals through hard work and discipline while staying calm in the face of adversity.”
The 2017 Salvation Army Angel Tree initiative at Koch’s main campus in Wichita, Kansas, collected gifts for more than 1,350 local boys and girls, with 275 employees volunteering to collect, purchase and distribute toys. In his third year of volunteering, Carey Devience, project manager with Koch Business Solutions, participated in every phase of the process – from shopping through gift check-in and distribution.
“I have five kids,” said Devience, “and we are all extremely fortunate to have the opportunity of celebrating Christmas with one another. The fact that I have seven people dependent on me doesn’t always allow me to give what I would like financially, but it doesn’t prevent me from giving my time to the wonderful families in the community.”
Georgia-Pacific employees gave back to the Atlanta area by sponsoring 625 children and 50 seniors through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree gift-giving initiative.
“When the opportunity to support people in need arises, I’m proud that GP employees consistently step up with their generosity,” said Christian Fischer, president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific. “In the last 10 years, approximately 7,300 children and seniors receiving Angel Tree gifts have had a brighter Christmas because of our employees.”
Across multiple Flint Hills Resources locations in Texas (like Longview, shown here), employees sponsored more than 110 Salvation Army Angels and provided 150 students with hoodies, shoes, socks and gifts from Santa.
“Flint Hills Resources Longview employees joined together to provide Christmas gifts to 30 local children through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program,” said plant manager Bill Shelton. “We have partnered with the Salvation Army of Longview to support their Angel Tree program for the past seven years.”
At Molex facilities in Arkansas, Michigan and Arizona, employees rallied to sponsor 53 Salvation Army Angels (donations pictured), adopt seven families and collect 1,430 pounds of food to help those in need have a happier Christmas.
“Employees at Polymicro/Molex here in Phoenix believe that every child deserves to know the joy of receiving a new toy at Christmas,” said Sue Eastman, human resources manager with the company. “It’s very rewarding to all of us to know that we are making a difference in the community.”