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Employees Invest in Communities with 1K Your Way

Categories: Giving Back
1K Your Way garden feature image

What good could you do with $1,000? We asked employees that very question earlier this year, seeking proposals for $1,000 grants to individual employees who wanted to invest in their communities. Our 1K Your Way giving campaign chose 20 employees from coast to coast to direct $1,000 Domtar grants to important causes in their area.

These grants are in addition to the millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours that Domtar has given corporately to improve literacy and learning, health and wellness, and sustainability in the areas where we operate. We’re proud to work alongside our neighbors to enrich life in their hometowns. Although a little elbow grease and sweat equity can go a long way toward cleaning up a park, building a trail or packing supplies, sometimes you just need a little cash to get things done.

1K Your Way Helps Remove Invasive Weeds

Rick Parkin, a forklift operator at the Rothschild Mill, applied for a grant to help the Lake Wausau Association remove curly-leaf pondweed, an invasive weed that contributes to destructive algal bloom, from the 1,900-acre lake on the Wisconsin River. The biomass that is removed will be used by local yard waste sites to create nutrient-rich compost.

A 1K Your Way grant helped remove an invasive weed that contributes to destructive algal bloom in Lake Wausau.

1K Your Way Blesses Babies

Juliana Lievano, a graphic designer in our Fort Mill offices, chose Bright Blessings of Charlotte, North Carolina, for her grant.

“Every baby deserves a positive start to life. Bright Blessings has a program called Bless-a-Baby that brings help and hope to homeless and impoverished babies by providing for their emergent health and wellbeing,” Lievano says. “Every Blessing Basket that they prepare and deliver is tailored to the needs of each child and provides all of the new basics that baby needs. Soft blankets, fresh clothing, diapers and wipes, critical healthcare items, feeding supplies, educational materials and more — these gifts of love and support fill every basket. This program provides a healthy and positive start for the tiniest victims of poverty. For new mothers, worry and stress turn into joyful blessings and promote positive bonding between mother and child.”

From left to right, Juliana Lievano Domtar graphic designer and Erin Clack, agency services program coordinator at Bright Blessings.

1K Your Way Helps Families and Students

Christina Clark in our Personal Care division headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, chose to contribute to her local Adopt-A-Block program, which provides food and diapers for families in the Raleigh-Durham area. In August, the group will host a Back2School Bash at six locations throughout Wake County, providing students with backpacks filled with school supplies.

1K Your Way Feeds People in Need

In Bennettsville, South Carolina, Michelle Richardson and Barbara Broad requested a grant for the Community Kitchen, where Marlboro Mill employees volunteer regularly to serve meals to people in need.

1K Your Way Plants a Garden

Nekoosa Mill employees who are longtime supporters of the Chahk Hah Chee Head Start program received a 1K Your Way grant to build an outdoor community garden at the preschool. Volunteers have installed three new raised garden beds that have internal watering systems. They also supplied a hummingbird feeder, bird houses, a rain gauge, a butterfly house and more. Plans include a weather station and a bird bath.

Volunteers installed three new raised garden beds with internal watering systems at Chahk Hah Chee Head Start.

1K Your Way Promotes Summer Learning

Courtney St. Onge, senior communications manager in Fort Mill, requested support for Freedom School Partners in Charlotte. The organization hosts six-week summer programs serving hundreds of students at various sites, helping them avoid summer learning loss and continue developing literacy, social and emotional skills.

“Freedom Schools does amazing work to brighten the future of hundreds of students,” she says. “It’s a joy to share new books and ideas with young people and see their confidence grow. It’s a nice fit with Domtar because so much of their reading and activities utilize paper. It’s a reminder of how our products play a part in education every day.”

Students at a Freedom School Partners program in Charlotte, North Carolina, work on arts and crafts during their summer break.

1K Your Way Improves Accessibility

Ken Wood, senior site reliability engineer at Port Huron, is a longtime supporter of the Hunter Hospitality House, which provides housing for families of patients in a nearby hospital. Wood’s family adopted a room in the house, and Domtar’s 1K Your Way grant helped them complete an accessible bathroom.

“This project and the Hunter House are very important to me because I have been in the situation where a loved one was in the hospital for extended stays, and I had to drive 60 miles each way to care for and visit with them,” Wood says. “The Hunter House provides great support to the patients and families for both of our community hospitals.”

One of our colleagues used a 1K Your Way grant to renovate an accessible shower at Hunter Hospitality House.

Heather Stowe, Domtar’s corporate social responsibility manager, says the 1K Your Way program did exactly what she’d hoped it would in its first year. “These are wonderful expressions of Domtar’s value of caring in a personalized way,” Stowe says. “Our employees are such ambassadors for our company, and it’s an honor to support these efforts with them.”