Wanting to be a part of something bigger in the community, the employees of Domtar Personal Care – Ohio are always looking for projects they can volunteer for in the community. During the early morning on May 10, around 60-70 of Domtar’s employees pulled into the parking lot of Recreation Unlimited, 7700 Piper Road, Ashley, ready to go to work.
Paul Huttlin, Recreation Unlimited, executive director and chief executive officer, said volunteers are always welcome, because he has only a small maintenance crew to keep up with the 195-acre wooded facility.
Huttlin, leading the way, drove around in a golf cart from group to group of volunteers asking if there was anything they needed or to help point the way to the next project.
Recreation Unlimited serves around 3,500 adults, teens, and children with special needs, developmental disabilities, and health concerns from Ohio and surrounding states. The camp facility is the largest provider in the area of sports, recreation, education, and quality programs for those with special needs.
The year-round, wheelchair-accessible campus features a comprehensive trail system along with a seven-acre lake, ADA accessible stream trail, prairie, forest, amphitheater, and shelters for outdoor educational activities and observation points for viewing wildlife.
Mark Clack, Domtar plant and general manager, said volunteering in the community is something the company does annually. He said the group of employees pick a project every year to volunteer at for a day.
“It’s employee engagement. It’s a team-building event,” he said. “The employees want to be apart of the something bigger. It’s a win-win.”
Clack said there were about 60 employees who volunteered for the project May 10 at Recreation Unlimited. He said anyone in the company can volunteer, from the executives and engineers to the warehouse crew. Clack was also in the woods helping clear trails and laying new mulch alongside the employees.
“We pay them, it’s an investment,” he said. “It’s a company-sponsored event that is put in our budget every year, and we use it.”
Domtar Personal Care – Ohio, located at 2332 U.S. Route 42, Delaware, is an international company with facilities in Canada, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United States. According to the company website, the Delaware plant designs, manufactures, markets and distributes a wide variety of pulp, paper, and personal care products ranging from copy paper to baby diapers, meeting the consumers’ needs for personal care.
However, Clack gave all the credit to Vicki Bowles, administrative assistant, for arranging the volunteers and event.
Bowles said she has wanted to set something up with Recreation Unlimited for the last three to four years.
“Domtar makes products for the individuals that come to Recreation Unlimited,” she said. “This is the first year that we’ve asked for volunteers — instead of saying this is where we are this year.”
Jennifer Brown, Domtar environmental, health and safety manager, said she comes out every year to the different areas in the community.
“We were at the Delaware County Fairgrounds last year,” she said. “It’s great for teamwork and camaraderie. It gives back to the community, and people have the chance to get out of their element. It’s fun to see.”
Matt Nelson, Domtar IT application manager, said he has been with the company for 25 years and volunteers every chance he gets, but only when his travel schedule allows.
“It’s a great chance to get out, hear the stories from the team, and contribute and help Recreation Unlimited with their mission.”
Richard Johnson, Domtar engineer and jack-of-all-trades, spent a lot of time on the trails raking and clearing the path.
“So it’s easier to walk,” he said. “It lessens the risk when walking the trails.”
Johnson said he had been on the other volunteer opportunities over the years. He said the most recent ones have included a cemetery, the YMCA, last year the Delaware County Fairgrounds, and now Recreation Unlimited.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.