Category Archives: Community

How Artwork from a COVID-19 Survivor Brought Joy to Manufacturing

COVID art

The year of uncertainty and health concerns affected many globally, including those in our own community. This uncertainty inspired two of our fellow DeKALB team members to share their father's artwork and bring positivity to others. Phil, an 83-year-old retired teacher, was stuck at home during the pandemic due to health issues, and he began coloring pictures as an outlet to spread joy and keep himself busy. This activity made Phil and his daughters, Cathy and Beth, think about how they could bring everyone together through creating inspiring and positive artwork.

Phil’s limitations due to health concerns and being on oxygen made it difficult for him to do the things he normally did; however, that didn’t stop him from spreading inspiration through his art. Phil finds joy in coloring due to his past career as a fifth-grade teacher, connecting with creativity as he would with his students back then. He spent his time creatively drawing messages like “Don’t Be Afraid to be Great!”, “Don’t Stop Believing”, and “Never Stop Making Wishes”, which he then shared with his daughters. To draw these pictures, Phil’s supplies included a pencil sharpener, colored pencils, and a stack of coloring books to pass the time and put his soul at ease.

Every week, Phil sent his daughters pictures of his art, which made them think of how they could spread his passion to others in the community. Cathy mentioned how excited her father gets whenever he sends over his colored pictures, which was what made Cathy and her sister agree on sharing their dad’s artwork with their coworkers.

Cathy & Beth DeKALB

Pictured: Elizabeth (left) and Cathy (right)

DeKALB's employees started slowly coming back into the workplace once the restrictions from the pandemic lifted. Cathy has stated it’s been like riding a bike for the first time in a while – slow at first but getting easier every day. DeKALB made the return safe for its workers: they were careful to put protocols in place to make everyone feel safe, including wiping down all workspaces, ensuring all workers wore masks, and sanitizing the equipment.

Everyone at the DeKALB offices needed something to make them smile during the uncertainty of returning to normal after the pandemic. The girls decided to share Phil's art at their workplace, and it instantly received glowing feedback. The motivational pictures Phil shared with his daughters were now displayed in the front office on a running PowerPoint. This helped spread messages that uplifted people and made everyone know that we're all in it together as a community.

The positive feedback received from Phil’s art made everyone at DeKALB come together and grow as a team. Phil and his daughters were moved by the company’s response, and they will continue to spread his creativity beyond the workplace. The girls mentioned they have future projects in mind, and they hope to display their father's artwork around Butler, IN by making a photo book of his work, sharing his creativity, and helping people come together.

Thank you, Phil, for your work! A pencil and paper can truly make a significant impact on people’s lives, and DeKALB will continue to showcase its positive impact to the workplace and local community.

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Grateful: A Thankful Letter from the President

As the year nears the end, this period always serves as a time of reflection, a time to look back and acknowledge the challenges while remembering the highlights. In most years, we sit around a table of loved ones and go around sharing memories. While we will remember 2020 for its unique tests, and our holiday celebrations might look different, there is still plenty to be grateful for this year.

At DeKALB Molded Plastics, this year began with an optimistic outlook.  We were committed to a strong year, leading with our strategic focus on safety. As our team planned our 2020 goals, we made it clear – we will never give up on anyone’s safety. No matter what, our goal remains the same - zero safety issues! At DeKALB, safety is everyone’s responsibility. From our employees to our guests, we are committed to protecting everyone who steps foot into our facility.

Dedicated Employees at DeKALB Molded Plastics

This year challenged our staff like never before. From adjusting to new safety policies to adapting to new COVID-19 protocols, our team has been excellent at being open-minded to change and continuing to come to work with a positive attitude.

I am so appreciative of the efforts of our staff. All of their hard work throughout the year has helped us gain new business opportunities and grow the partnerships of existing customers. Through it all, we were able to stay true to our core mission to provide unsurpassed satisfaction to all of our customers. I'd like to personally extend a thank you to the DeKALB staff for bringing energy and passion to the organization, buying into our process, allowing us to grow as professional individuals and as a business.

Our Customers – New & Old

To all of our customers, first and foremost, thank you for doing business with us. Without you, our business would not look the same. While this is true for any company, it resonates so much more this year as we have seen many have to scale back or close their doors.

This year required added patience as we all navigated through unscripted challenges. We cannot express enough how much we appreciate your loyalty, support and trust in DeKALB Molded Plastics to provide you with your structural foam needs. Thank you for believing in us, and we look forward to continuing to serve you as our on-going relationship continues to develop.

The DeKALB Community

Last and certainly not least, from our entire team at DeKALB Molded Plastics, we value the genuine relationship we have with our local community. From the day we first opened our doors, one of our core values has been to be an active member of our local community. To us, continuous improvement and care for our employees extend well past our walls and into our city. We dedicate our time to our community to help create a growing and supportive environment all around us.

We are grateful for the relationships that we have built within the area of Butler, IN. We are always happy to show our support as an active member of the community. While this year has had many canceled events, we were proud to still have the opportunity to give back through the annual United Way of DeKalb County Day of Caring event in September. However, one event that has been altered is our annual recognition dinner that honors members of the Butler Police Department, Butler Fire Department and locally stationed Parkview DeKalb EMTs. While the dinner is postponed, we will still be making a presentation of our support at an upcoming Butler City Council meeting next month.

I could go on about the many things I am indebted to, even in this time of challenge. Without the dedication of our staff, the support of our community and the confidence of our customers, DeKALB Molded Plastics would not be in business. For that, I am comforted, and I know the DeKALB teammates are too!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! – From all of us at DeKALB Molded Plastics

We wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 - Rick Walters

 

Community Focused – DeKALB’s Active Involvement

At DeKALB Molded Plastics, we are committed to our community, because being an active and supportive member of our local city is simply an extension of our core values.  Giving of our time and talent is our greatest contribution to our many partnerships, because when we support each other, incredible things happen, and everyone wins.

Our community has always been supportive of us, helping us be successful. In return of this support, we’re proud to be able to give back, supporting our neighbors and friends, helping to make things better. As a company, we are focused on Continuous Improvement, and we are proud to continue this philosophy from within our walls to everyone outside of them. Great employees create a great company, and in turn, with this attention, make a great community. This is why you will often see DeKALB employees and our logo present as a sponsor at numerous charitable events, including Butler DaysShop with a Cop, and multiple Butler 5K Run fundraisers.

United Way - Day of Caring

Each year one of the highlights of our community events is participating in the United Way of DeKalb County Day of Caring. DeKALB has participated in this volunteer opportunity for more than 20 years, lending a helping hand to local nonprofits and giving back to the great community that embraces our company. This is usually a one-day event where volunteers serve throughout the community, doing projects for those in need of assistance.

Open to all levels of employees, this event provides DeKALB Molded Plastic’s staff with the opportunity to go out and give back to the community by dedicating their time. At the end of the event, the dedication from our staff, and other community members that support this event, help to make a major impact throughout the county.

During the Day of Caring, some of the projects that are completed include repairing fences, painting projects, landscaping and making our area buildings more accessible for all by constructing access ramps. In addition, some skilled volunteers assist by doing minor home repairs. In 2020, even during a pandemic, the annual United Way Day of Caring in DeKalb County continues, as 24 outdoor projects are scheduled to be completed. Teams have already started work, which will take place over the next few weeks, unlike normal years, where all projects are finished within the same day.

For DeKALB’s engineering manager, Chris Clear, who has participated in this event every year for the last twenty years, the most enjoyable part of this event is reflecting on the work DeKALB has helped to achieve, and the positive and lasting effect it has to this day for the community and the company.

“One of the projects that stands out is when I put in a garage door opener for a senior citizen, who I see from time to time, and when I do, she always comments on how thankful she is for our help,” said Clear. “I’m most proud of the reputation our staff has built with the United Way. Our team is known for taking on the difficult projects, and working until it is done, often being the last Day of Caring crew still working. We generate a better quality of life for the community when we give back, and it helps us when we help others.”

Diane Fogle, customer service representative at DeKALB, also shared a fond memory of volunteering at the Day of Caring and how DeKALB was able to help in going the extra mile to make a community member’s day.

“DeKALB has been proud of every project we have done over the years, but one that I will never forget is a landscaping project completed at an elderly women’s home,” said Fogle. “After meeting her, shared that she always wanted to be a queen for a day, like a homecoming queen, after hearing that, we declared her queen of the day and we presented her with a crown and a sash. This small act of kindness made a world of difference to her and had an impact on our team as there were tears of joy from everyone.”

Staying Active in the Community – The DeKALB Way

At DeKALB, caring for our employees includes caring for our community.  Our culture is centered on appreciating, thanking and cheering our employees for their contributions and support of their passions every day.  Our employees strive to make things better, to make a difference and make our community a great place to work, live and play.

As a thank you to all the first responders serving the Butler community, each year, we recognize and honor members of the Butler Police Department, Butler Fire Department, and locally stationed Parkview DeKalb EMTs with an appreciation dinner for all of the hard work that they do for us throughout the year.

To learn more about us and living the DeKALB Way, click here.