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Avery Dennison employees help CC Women’s Center

PHOTO PROVIDED Terri Marion, former Clinton County Women's Center director, kneels in front of Avery Dennison employees during their volunteer work day at the center. The volunteers are, from left, in front: Sean Carlson, Laurie Cantolina, Bobbi-Jo Shortledge, Chris Kohler, Diana Smirnova, Sue Caris and Yara Ghoussoub; in the second row: Jeff Bowers, Tim Meyers, Jim Akeley, Rabecca Kibler, Alex Nyarko and Katie Eberhard; and in back: Chuck Williams and Andy Wertz.

LOCK HAVEN – Lots of good things happened at the Clinton County Women’s Center, all in one day. A strong autumn wind blew through, leaving behind a new storage shed, fresh coats of paint, chalkboard art walls, and more.

Avery Dennison Mill Hall powered this energetic blast, with 25 local employees giving 100 volunteer hours on site.

“Our team is a force for good,” said Sue Caris, one of the employee volunteers.

The employees at Mill Hall also won a $3,000 Granting Wishes donation for the women’s center to use where needed.

Avery Dennison is one of the county’s top 30 employers. Its local Performance Polymers Division is located on Draketown Road, Mill Hall, and employees are active volunteers in the community. Among their good works is participation in the United Way Day of Caring, when they clean, paint, garden and make repairs to the Clinton County Women’s Center (CCWC).

PHOTO PROVIDED Sue Caris, left, and Sean Carlson help give the backyard fence a new look.

The women’s center is a private non-profit corporation with a dedicated staff of volunteers. They believe all people have the right to a life free from the fear of violence. With its Hilton Safe House downtown, the organization provides many services that promote freedom from abuse. The organization has been doing this good work for 40 years. It has helped so many lives change for the better that its total impact, and its importance to the community, cannot be fully measured.

Avery Dennison volunteer Andy Weaver said, “Who wouldn’t love doing something for others, and especially for such an important nonprofit organization to our community?” (Weaver is also co-organizer of the annual employee-driven Avery Dennison Angels charitable giving program at Christmastime.)

Nearly all the local Avery Dennison employees know of someone who has benefited through the CCWC and its services, according to longtime employee Sue Caris. So when the local plant’s Charitable Donations Committee members learned about Avery Dennison Foundation’s Granting Wishes program, they agreed unanimously to go after a grant for the women’s center.

The foundation’s Granting Wishes program allows workers to help local causes they care about. During the past eight years, the program has helped 314 organizations across the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America, giving out a total of $1,347,000.

It’s no surprise that the local wish was granted. The CCWC is a good fit with the corporate-sponsored Avery Dennison Foundation and its mission of promoting education, sustainability, and women’s empowerment in the places where employees live and work. The Clinton County Women’s Center educates our community, from preschools to hospitals and industries. And does much more than traditional emergency shelters do, providing life-saving services to practically anyone who knocks on the door.

The Avery Dennison work day, which was above and beyond the grant, was designed to help these services flow.

At the shelter, the team of volunteers:

– Dug and laid a paver stone foundation, then erected a storage shed to house outdoor toys for children as well as yard tools.

– Power-washed the back porch and fence.

– Painted the fence a bright purple, the color of domestic violence awareness.

– Added chalkboard art walls to the back yard.

– Painted doors.

– Upgraded the landscaping, front and back.

– Donated a coffee maker and a generous supply of coffee pods – enough for several years!

The volunteers hope they have made a positive, lasting impact at the shelter. Their day of giving has certainly left an impact on them.

“Some subtle but powerful magic happens through these company volunteer programs,” employee Jim Akeley said. “While tackling a task together that’s close to our hearts, we connect with each other as a team in a different way than in a typical workplace. We connect on a deeper, human level.”

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