LONGVIEW, Wash.,November 25, 2013 –
KapStone employees at the Longview mill regularly demonstrate their “courage to care” by offering reminders and tips to co-workers on how to practice safe work habits. Now, as a result of a recent safety challenge at the mill, employees are demonstrating their courage to care for the larger communities they live in.
Mill employees demonstrated this courage by choosing to give $10,000 to Community Home Health & Hospice (Community) as part of a mill-wide safety challenge issued by senior mill leaders.
The mill regularly issues safety challenges, and employees consistently do a good job in meeting those challenges. However, this was the first time mill leadership added a $10,000 incentive which involved giving a charitable donation.
Mill manager Paul Duncan said, “This challenge was a way to accomplish two things at once. It gave us the opportunity to encourage safety at work and in our communities, and at the same time, it gave us the opportunity to encourage community giving.”
He added: “All of us who work here are connected in a variety of ways to the communities we live in, and most of us feel we have an obligation to give something back. Employees clearly showed their commitment to that idea by meeting the safety challenge that was launched.”
Mike Barbee, a planner in the maintenance department and one of the safety co-chairs for that department, has been active in helping to nurture a safe work environment for many years. He was very impressed by the participation and the decision to donate the funds to Community. “It was unanimous across all departments,” he said.
Keith Johanson, safety co-chair for the paper mill, also shared an opinion on the results. When asked why he thought employees voted overwhelmingly for Community, he said that in his opinion, it’s because no other charitable organization touches more lives.
“There are a lot of people in need and a lot of good causes. Approximately 12 charities were nominated. They’re all worthy of our help, and each of us contributes to charities that are personally of interest to us. But Community touches more lives than any other charity.”
Greg Pang, Community’s CEO said, “When I heard about the outpouring of support from our friends at KapStone, I was truly overwhelmed. It enables us to continue giving back with the compassion and support families need during difficult times.”