In 2019 Ahlstrom-Munksjö asked its employees to suggest projects or organizations that the company could support. Eight projects were selected. One of them is an organization called the New Community Shelter in Wisconsin, USA.
“These are people who have passions, skills, and a sense of pride, just like the rest of us. To succeed, they do not just need some luck but instead need some assistance with rebuilding their lives,” says Project Engineer Ben Wiegand while telling a story about his voluntary work in a shelter with the homeless.
Wiegand works at Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Nicolet Mill in De Pere, Wisconsin, and he was one of the employees who proposed an organization to receive a donation from the company. Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Annual General Meeting of the shareholders decided in March 2019 to reserve EUR 100 000 altogether for this purpose. Ben Wiegand’s suggestion was one of the eight proposals chosen.
“The NEW Community Shelter offers a wide array of programs to allow people to rebuild their lives, from the visible meal service and emergency shelter assistance to transitional living and employment assistance programs,” he continues.
The New Community Shelter helps the homeless and hungry from throughout the Greater Green Bay area in Wisconsin. The shelter aids people by providing housing in a facility with a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol and drugs, a nightly curfew, comprehensive one-on-one case management, and counseling and educational programming.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s donation will be used to assist with the Community Meal Program. The shelter serves lunch on weekends and holidays and dinner every day. Approximately 220-250 members of the community utilizes this service each day. Money donated will go to supplemental food purchases that allow families on a fixed income to eat healthier than they typically would be able to afford.
Wiegand sees many possibilities for how organizations can help their local communities.
“As Ahlstrom-Munksjö employees, we individually engage in community involvement every day throughout the world. There’s room to imagine a better world as we imagine fiber, and I think we’re on the right track.”
Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Code of Conduct states that the company is committed to conducting its business according to high ethical standards and that it respects the cultures, customs, and values of local people and societies, wherever they are in the world.