05-Dec-2020

Henkel commemorates International Volunteer Day and highlights the positive impact of employees’ advocacy to help those in need.

Henkel employees care and act in the community

hands reaching over for an offered shopping bag full of groceries

In honor of International Volunteer Day we join the United Nations in thanking all volunteers who selflessly support their communities every day and especially this year as many face escalating needs as a result of the pandemic.  

Henkel has a strong legacy of doing our part to build strong communities and improve the quality of life for others. We are proud of our 9,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada for their caring spirit and activism in their communities.  We support their volunteerism through programs such as our Make an Impact for Tomorrow (MIT) initiative which enables employees and retirees to apply for grants. Since the MIT initiative was launched in 1998, Henkel has supported over 15,500 charitable projects in more than 100 countries.

While the pandemic is hindering many volunteering activities at a time when more people than ever are turning to charities for food and necessities, our employees sought other ways to care and act to reach those in need. In addition to seeking MIT grants, employees applied for donations through Henkel’s global solidarity program and organized virtual events to aid charities serving the community. To recognize our employees’ community impact, we highlight a few of their many activities:

Since 2011, Henkel has supported Special Olympics of Connecticut through the Unified Sports program. Melissa Jacobs, Senior Paralegal, has volunteered for decades and takes the lead in organizing Henkel MIT grants and volunteer activities. “It is imperative that we continue our support of organizations like Special Olympics because financial strains resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many to reduce compensation for their staff as well as furloughing employees,” Melissa said. “The MIT grant has provided a lifeline to maintaining staff critical to continuation and development of their virtual events and programs until they return to in-person interactions.”

Henkel employees in California support a number of local charities. James Anderson, Director of Human Resources, leads the team effort to support Safe Place for Youth (S.P.Y.) – an organization that serves homeless youth, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community, and helps them exit the streets as well as improve their future prospects. James was impressed with the variety of resources S.P.Y. offers, especially the “Healing Arts Program” which provides youth a safe environment for creative expression. “After a visit in early 2019, I was struck by the number of youths expressing themselves with vibrant hair colors,” said James. “I immediately knew Henkel could be of assistance by providing grants and products to further S.P.Y.’s mission.”

Bridgewater, NJ employees have been volunteering for years at Elijah’s Promise which serves as a community soup kitchen and empowers food-centered programs in the New Brunswick area. Joanne Gutierrez, Associate Paralegal, has made her involvement with Elijah’s Promise a family activity. Together they prepared 100 hygiene kits and boxes of utensil donations at the beginning of the pandemic. Joanne applied for an MIT grant and was awarded funding to cover 4,000 meals that will be provided to the community. “I am grateful that Henkel allows, encourages, and supports its employees to support our communities through volunteer work,” Joanne expressed.

Giving together virtually

Employees across Henkel’s more than 70 sites in North America rallied together to care and act in a virtual way by donating to Feeding America and Foodbanks of Canada. All employee donations are matched by the Fritz Henkel Foundation to double the impact. The fundraiser is in addition to donations Henkel has made to Feeding America and Foodbanks of Canada, which in total translates to over 1,000,000 meals!

This support is part of Henkel’s Solidarity Program initiated in March to aid society in the fight against the pandemic. Funds and donations of personal and household hygiene products are distributed to national and local charities to reach people with the greatest needs. Read more about Henkel’s solidarity program.