Blog | December 17, 2018

Holiday Giving Part Three: Lead Battery Industry Puts Generosity in Motion

In Reading, Penn., Santa’s sleigh takes the shape of an EnerSys van as employee Tara Fry loads gifts from the company’s Angel Tree for delivery to the Salvation Army.

Helping those in need is a “win-win,” especially during the holiday season. This year, lead battery manufacturers and recyclers are again putting their generosity in action in many meaningful ways. Here are some of those stories.

EnerSys: “Angels” to Children in Need

At EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, employees practically race for their chance to help local kids. The company, headquartered in Reading, Penn., manufactures reserve power and motive power batteries and a variety of equipment for customers around the world. Each year, EnerSys employees sponsor an “Angel Tree” in partnership with the Salvation Army to provide warm winter clothing, toys and other items for local children.

Josh Wilder, a member of the EnerSys Activities Committee, explained the annual tradition. “The Angel Tree at our corporate office is decorated with cards that include the name, age and gift request for children in the Reading area. Employees pick a card, shop, and place the gift under the tree.” Wilder estimated that this year’s tree had about 60 gift cards – but not for long.

“When the email announcement about the Angel Tree was sent to employees, the wish tags were almost all gone in the first hour! Next year, we plan to ask for more tags and add a second tree for senior citizen gifts.”

EnerSys credits the advance planning by the Activities Committee, coordinated by Executive Liaison, Tara Fry, and the Salvation Army for making the Angel Tree program a success. Starting in October, families meet with a Salvation Army volunteer to receive applications. The families’ requests are then given to local organizations and companies like EnerSys to meet the needs.

Hammond Group: Helping Children from Indiana to Malaysia

“Giving back to the community is something we feel very strongly about at Hammond Group,” said Stephanie Smith, marketing coordinator. “Each year, our employees shop for Boys and Girls Club children to make their holiday a little brighter. It’s truly a touching moment when you see all the gifts around the tree.”

Thirty-five children in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana will receive hand-picked gifts from Hammond’s elves. (L-R) Marilyn Parker, Pedro Sepulveda, Hayley Sekula, Stephanie Smith and Bonnie Mescal.

Smith says that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana provides Hammond with 35 “Santa lists,” which have each child’s wish list and clothing sizes. Employees pick a list and then go shopping. Last year, the company sponsored 25 kids, but the event was so popular, that this year’s list has grown to 35. Each employee can sponsor one or as many children as they wish. The joy of giving and receiving goes both ways, Smith added.

“I take my four nephews and nieces along to shop, and they love picking out gifts for other children to enjoy, said employee Marilyn Parker. “It’s always great to see the giving experience through a child’s eyes.” Once the gifts are purchased, they’re wrapped and put under the company’s tree until the Boys and Girls Club staff pick them up.

Hammond, a specialty chemical company located in the Indiana city of the same name, serves the world’s battery industry, enabling lead chemistry for advanced energy storage. The company’s giving extends beyond the local community. Rather than purchase customer-appreciation gifts, the company opts to support charities in the countries where Hammond operates. Employees make the suggestions and headquarters follows through.

Among the organizations receiving Hammond support this year:

  • The Gary Crisis Center, which provides emergency shelter for children and youth, and services for early intervention, teen court prevention and low-cost counseling.
  • Wreaths Across America, to remember and honor veterans by laying a remembrance wreath on their graves and saying each veteran’s name aloud.
  • Cash for Kids, serving 22 areas of the United Kingdom, and supporting children 0-18 who are disabled, disadvantaged or suffering from abuse or neglect.
  • Action Against Hunger, Malaysia, a global organization that addresses the causes and effects of hunger in nearly 50 countries.

Interstate Batteries:  Helping Others Adapt to Life in the U.S.

A sampling of gifts donated by Interstate employees to help children of refugees as they experience their first Christmas in the U.S.

Each year, in alignment with the company’s core values of “Love, Team, Servants Heart and Fun,” Interstate Batteries in Dallas reaches out to different organizations and/or charities to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

This year, the battery manufacturer chose For the Nations: Refugee Outreach 2018 (FTN) as the recipient of the company’s employee generosity. The non-profit organization serves refugees as they adapt to life in the United States and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. FTN’s goals are to teach English and literacy to children and adult refugees, help provide life skills, connect refugees with the community, share faith messaging, and acculturate refugees to life in America.

Interstate’s corporate office consists of nine departments; each is assigned different gifts to donate to the legal refugees of FTN living in the region. Gifts range from Lego sets and art supplies, to coats and sneakers, baby dolls, remote control vehicles, sports equipment and action figures, to name just a few. Interstate employees purchase the gifts and bring them to the company’s Chaplain’s office so they can then be delivered to the refugees participating in the program. In mid-December, Interstate volunteers will help sponsor a Christmas party in Dallas where the gifts will be distributed.

According to the FTN website, the U.S. regularly takes in more refugees for permanent resettlement than all other countries in the world. Refugees living in the U.S. are legal residents and invited by the government to live and work permanently in the U.S. They receive personal assistance from the government for a few months, but many may need help with English, job skills and other life skills for much longer. In 2015, more than 10,000 refugees settled in Texas.

Throughout the year, Interstate regularly supports local charities like the North Texas Food Bank, Boynton Farms, Union Gospel Mission, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Calvert Place, Center of Hope and Thrive Woman’s Clinic.

Join the Village

By sharing these stories, members of the lead battery industry hope to inspire other companies to give generously. Please stay tuned for more inspiring stories.

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Carole Mars The Sustainability Consortium Director

The high recycling rate of U.S. lead batteries means a large percent of U.S. lead battery manufacturing supply chain inputs (73% of its lead) are sourced from domestic recyclers.

Dr. Carole Mars, Director of Technical Development and Innovation, The Sustainability Consortium