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EarthChoice Ambassadors: 2020 Year-End Review

Categories: Giving Back
2020 year-end review collage of images

This year has certainly been difficult for many people, but through the tough times, there have been good moments as well. Folks around the world are recognizing what truly matters in life — health, family, friends and connected communities — and they’re stepping in to help the communities where they live and work. Domtar Earthchoice® Ambassadors are doing the same thing, and we’re proud to share this 2020 year-end review highlighting the many ways they’ve helped make the world a better place.

As we celebrate the ninth anniversary of the EarthChoice® Ambassador (ECA) program, we continue to promote sustainable practices that focus on our customers, employees, company and communities. By identifying and sharing innovative solutions, educating and encouraging sustainable habits and leading by example, ECAs helps push our sustainability message throughout our organization and our Domtar communities.

2020 Year-End Review: ECA Events

This 2020 year-end review shows some of the many ways EarthChoice Ambassadors have helped their communities and led by example during a global pandemic. Here, we’re highlighting just a few of the many community investment projects accomplished by ECA teams this year:
Addison, Illinois
  • Our Addison Converting Center ECAs helped clean two miles of the Great Western Trail in DuPage county, donated hundreds of reams of paper and books to the local school district, sponsored a family for Christmas and held a COVID-safe golf fundraiser.

Addison Converting Center donated hundreds of reams of paper to the local school district.

Ashdown, Arkansas
  • The Ashdown Mill ECA team began the year by volunteering at the Ashdown Community Auction, an event that raises money for the beautification and improvement of the downtown area and city park. The team also packed food boxes for the Harvest Regional Food Bank in Texarkana for area families who were not able to access the meals they normally received at school. Ashdown Mill ECAs partnered with the mill’s wood procurement group for a tree seedling giveaway event, distributing more than 1,000 seedlings to local residents. Other events included a highway cleanup project, where several hundred pounds of trash were removed from the highway, and an annual backpack adoption program.
Dryden, Ontario
  • The Dryden Mill participated in the city’s “At Work for the Planet” clean-up day at two local parks in celebration of National Forestry Week. They also held their first “Fall Fest.” The event featured outdoor vendors and a walk through the Laura Howe Marsh Trail, which had previously been cleaned up and maintained by Domtar ECAs and community volunteers.

Dryden ECAs and community volunteers participated in a clean-up event at Lions Park during National Forestry Week.

DuBois, Pennsylvania

  • The DuBois Converting Center ECA team followed its annual tradition of raising money for patients at the Hahne Cancer Center, in memory of a former employee who passed away in 2014 from a rare form of cancer. Team members also held a food drive for the Salvation Army and a toy drive for Toys For Tots.
Espanola, Ontario
  • Early in the pandemic, Espanola Mill ECAs made a special delivery to a local senior living facility, where they presented residents with spring outdoor décor. They also created sunflower kits and delivered them to senior centers throughout the area, and they assembled many “Comfort and Care” packages that contained diapers and books for families in need. In addition, ECAs promoted the online Forest Academy to local children who were learning at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents and a nurse from the local senior center thank Espanola Mill ECAs for their gifts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hawesville, Kentucky

  • ECAs from our Hawesville Mill created special “Thinking of You” cards and distributed them to local nursing home during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also donated many books through First Book to a local elementary school and conducted a river clean up in the area.

Jesup, Georgia

  • For its first-ever ECA event, the team at EAM in Jesup, Georgia, completed 250 “Comfort and Care” packages during the summer and donated them to a local women’s shelter.

Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania

  • The Johnsonburg Mill ECA team arranged book and diaper donations to numerous nonprofit agencies and schools, celebrated a Week of Caring, held an annual Adopt-A-Highway litter pickup event and collected Christmas gifts for children in need.

Johnsonburg Mill employees held a toy collection to donate to “Project Gifts for Elk County.”

Kamloops, British Columbia

  • Kamloops Mill ECAs started this year volunteering with the P.I.T. (People in Transition) Stop outreach program to provide hot, nutritious meals to those in need. They also participated in many highway clean-up events, planted flowers for hospice and brought awareness to the ECA cause during a Kamloops Blazers hockey night. In the last half of this year, they focused on events within the mill, such as a garden picture contest, a toy drive for young children and a bottle drive to raise funds to support various community activities.

Madrid, Spain

  • Our Madrid ECA team participated in a $1k Your Way project to plant 300 trees in the community. They also raised €2,237 for Christmas toy baskets for the local children’s cancer center.

Montreal, Quebec

  • Our Montreal office partnered with Earth Rangers, a Canadian youth environmental education and conservation nonprofit to teach schoolchildren and their families about biodiversity, inspire them to adopt sustainable behaviors and empower them to become directly involved in protecting animals and their habitats.

Nekoosa, Wisconsin

  • Our Nekoosa Mill ECAs participated in the Shining Star Gift Giving Project for children at the Chahk Ha Chee Head Start program. They also built a Domtar parade float and participated in a “reverse parade,” where cars drove by the parade floats for safety during the pandemic. Additionally, the team held an electronics recycling event where they collected 1,923 lbs. of recycling, and they filled backpacks with food and school supplies for the school district’s “Backpacks for Kids” event.

Plymouth, North Carolina

  • ECAs at our Plymouth Mill typically sponsor a school supply drive to support the local school district, but with this year’s changing needs, they purchased internet hotspots for local students that didn’t have reliable internet at their homes. They also provided $3,000 to the United Fund and supported the Humane Society by providing food, litter and veterinary care to displaced and abandoned animals. Additionally, they provided much-needed disaster relief in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias, and they partnered with our Domtar Personal Care Greenville plant to donate $15,000 to the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina, which provides temporary housing for families of seriously ill or injured children receiving treatment from area medical facilities.

Rock Hill, South Carolina

  • ECAs from our Rock Hill Converting Center completed a “$1k Your Way” project with a local kindergarten teacher, who used the $1,000 grant to purchase books for her classroom and other kindergarten classes at a local school.

Rothschild, Wisconsin

  • Rothschild Mill ECAs partnered with Nekoosa Mill ECAs for a “Focus on Energy” virtual energy fair. People purchased nearly 3,900 LED light bulbs, which will have the same impact as removing 36 cars from the road each year. They also participated in three Adopt-A-Highway events and donated 75 pairs of gently used work boots to United Way’s “Boots to Work” program.

Tatum, South Carolina

  • Prior to the pandemic, ECAs from our Tatum Converting Center visited a local school to read to children and donate books. They also prepared and delivered plates of food to the Community Kitchen and to people who were not leaving their homes for the holidays.

ECAs from our Tatum Converting Center prepare plates of food for families in need during the pandemic.

Windsor, Quebec

  • Our final installment in this 2020 year-end review features our Windsor Mill ECAs, who donated 1,000 N95 masks to regional hospitals, cleaned up local parks and held a school supply drive for children learning at home during the pandemic. They also raised funds for a children’s foundation that provides educational assistance to children in need.
If you enjoyed this 2020 year-end review, then read on to learn more about our community investment efforts this year: