Steel Monroe, Middletown Make Kids' Dreams Come True

While many charities focus on basic needs like food and clothing, few deliver beds to kids in need. Butler County, Ohio is one of many areas affected by this issue, where an estimated 12,000 children are without beds. Always looking for ways to help their community, our Steel Monroe and Middletown facilities partnered with their local Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a group of volunteers who make and deliver bunk beds to children who need them. The group has nearly 100 chapters nationwide, including one in Butler County just minutes away from Monroe and Middletown. On July 20, over 70 employees from both plants and their families gathered to welcome the organization into our Monroe facility, where employees transformed our plant into a bed-making workshop

"I just wanted to say how proud I am to stand beside this group of employees," said Lou Edgar, Monroe Operations Manager. "I've watched this team step up for our fellow employees time and time again and today it was truly special to see everyone pulling together for these community kids."

"It was a great event to be a part of for a number of reasons, but the most gratifying was seeing the pictures of the kids who received the beds and how happy their faces were," said Eric Dickerson, Monroe Supply Chain. "I'm proud to be a part of the Worthington family… this was just an awesome experience all around."

Austria Employees to the Rescue after Blizzard

In Lower Austria all residents living above an altitude of 700 meters (2300 feet) were evacuated from the towns of Neuhaus and Hochkar during the January 2019 blizzard that dumped over six meters (20 feet) of snow on the mountains – bringing extreme risks of avalanche to the region.

Professional and volunteer emergency response organizations (Blaulichtorganisationen) rushed to the rescue – including the Federal Army (Bundeswehr), the Mountain Rescue (Bergrettung), the Department of Road Maintenance (Strassenmeisterei) and many local volunteer fire departments.

On staff for these organizations were over 80 Worthington Industries employees – 20 percent of the people working at our high-pressure cylinder facility in Kienberg, Austria. Franz Spendlhofer, Worthington's Director of Engineering & Management Systems and Fire Department District Commander for Gaming, Lower Austria, led the response of the volunteer firemen from the area to help clear the roads, remove snow from the roofs of homes and lodges and other activities.

Addressing the risk of avalanche were several Worthington employees who deployed with the Mountain Rescue. Günther Helmel, who works in the plant warehouse, said: "My team and I entered areas where there was life-threatening risk of avalanche. We set controlled detonations that guided excess snow away from people and structures. Helping people I've known all my life is its own reward, but it's stressful work. Now at least I know I don't need to stress about using vacation days to get the job done."

​​Helmel is referring to Worthington offering three paid "emergency response" days to volunteers who work at the Kienberg facility. Worthington is the first employer in the region to enact this sort of policy. "Many employers require the use of vacation days to take part in emergency relief efforts. We didn't want our co-workers to be penalized for helping the community," explained Spendlhofer, "Almost 400,000 Austrians donate their time to volunteer fire departments for emergency-response efforts. The practice is part of our culture. I'm proud that Worthington is leading efforts keep this tradition alive and healthy."

WI Pharmacy Partners with Blue Star Moms to Bring Comforts of Home to Our Troops

Members of Blue Star Mothers central Ohio chapter prepare care packages to be sent overseas.

For members of our armed forces overseas, simple items like Chap Stick and nail clippers can be hard to come by. Blue Star Mothers is an organization of military moms who create care packages to deliver these much needed supplies to our troops.

Knowing we stock many of these products right here at our Worthington Pharmacy, Pharmacy Technician Angie Harris came up with the idea to start an over-the-counter (OTC) donation program. The program gave employees the opportunity to purchase and donate OTC products to send in care packages through Blue Star Mothers.

It ran for two months and was a hit. Employees donated over 300 items including products like cleansing wipes, Band-Aids and cough drops. "These are things we take for granted in our daily lives," said Diana Evans Vance, president of the central Ohio Blue Star Mothers chapter. "But they can be so meaningful to our soldiers. You can't really appreciate how important an item like foot powder is unless you are in that situation."

Along with products from our pharmacy, employees also chipped in nearly $200 in donations. "With that donation, we will be able to create several additional care packages," said Diana. "This is just a positive thing that I can really appreciate as a military mom and I know that they are always appreciated on the receiving end." The items donated from Worthington will be delivered in the coming weeks, just in time to be a welcome surprise for the holiday season. "Everyone who donated was very generous and that was a great thing to experience first-hand," said Angie. "

A big thanks to our Pharmacy for organizing the program and to all the employees who donated!