As the needs of the region within its plant footprint continue to grow amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Star Plastics team has stepped up generously in response.
Star Plastics was able to leverage its local, national, and international networks to help deliver resources for its local communities in the form of medical equipment fabrication, PPE, cash donations and perishable food items.
Star was approached by a Professor of Chemical Engineering at WVU’s Statler College of Engineering, requesting advice in the manufacturing of intubation boxes. These specialized boxes would be distributed and used in hospitals in WV and surrounding states, to protect health care workers during the intubation process.
A team within Star is working to fabricate the boxes with PC materials, and the company has reached out within its network of plastic fabricators and molders to further the production of the intubation boxes for this multi-state cause.
Star Plastics employees also noticed needs in the communities in which they live, particularly the lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) in the area’s medical centers where friends, family and community members work. After bringing this need to the Star leadership team’s attention, staff called upon their national and international business relationships and procured PPE (including face shields and face masks) which was donated to local medical providers as well as others serving in the “front line” of its communities.
One of those medical facilities was Ravenswood’s Coplin Health Systems, a regional primary care network of providers with seven locations across West Virginia and Ohio. In a note to Star Plastics President and CEO Doug Ritchie, Coplin Health Site director Holli Ludtman commented, “It means so much that the communities we work and live in rally behind us in such a powerful way…Thanks to you, our supplies are currently stable, and we know that brighter days are ahead.”
Star Plastics also gave their employees the opportunity to help their fellow community members struggling with food insecurity. Star employees teamed up with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) to take care of their neighbors with donations to local food pantries, with their gifts matched by the company.
Ritchie announced on April 1st that Star Plastics would match all employee donations made over a two-week period to the Hunger Fund through the PACF, a regional public charity. The Hunger Fund supports local food pantries and organizations offering services for families struggling with food insecurity in 11 counties, including those surrounding both Star WV facilities in West Virginia and Ohio.
“Many of our employees contribute regularly to the quality of life in their communities. They are mentors and volunteers within schools, sports leagues and youth groups,” said Ritchie. So it was only natural that they would step up to generate $4,130 in products and funds to support their neighbors. Ritchie added, “As so many families in our area have experienced job disruptions, this support for our local food pantries comes at a critically needed time.”
One of the more unique gifts that was matched by Star Plastics came from a partnership with a local Bob Evans Restaurant, where Manager Alana Humphreys, wife of Star Plastics Purchasing Specialist Brandon Humphreys, saw excess perishable food items that could be donated locally. The Bob Evans Restaurant in Ripley, West Virginia, donated: 90 dozen eggs, 16 cantaloupes, 20 pounds of grapes, and 50 pounds of bananas. Through the PACF, they were swiftly connected to the Ravenswood No- Hunger Food Pantry, which in turn provided access to this fresh food to their clients, including delivery services to many home-bound residents of a local senior-living apartment unit.
The PACF, a regional public charity community foundation with deep local roots, serving the Mid-Ohio Valley area of WV and OH since 1963, collected the matching gifts into its “Hunger Fund,” and distributed them on behalf of Star Plastics to the intended local food pantries. “This project is a great example of a local company and its employees coming together to help care for their fellow citizens. We applaud the generosity of Star Plastics employees and the leadership of the company for their action and direct support for the well-being of others in their communities,” said PACF Executive Director Judy Sjostedt.
Star Plastics’ partnership with the PACF allowed employees to rapidly respond to the current crisis, with 100% of their donations going straight to organizations working to meet essential human needs. And to bring some simple joys to those on the “front lines” and to express appreciation for their service to the public, Star Plastics made an additional gift on behalf of its employees to PACF to sponsor the distribution of 100 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from the local troop to the Coplin Health Systems and Ravenswood Food Fair grocery store employees. When the clinic received its Girl Scout Cookies, Site Director Hollie Ludtman said, “the smiles they generated were priceless. It was a huge breath of fresh air…”
As a company, Star Plastics is fortunate to continue operations through this challenging time, and, as a whole, the Company and its employees are humbled to be able to help others. “We salute our employees for their efforts and thank PACF for its assistance with this important project. We encourage other companies to look around and see where their giving can make an impact in their local communities,” said Doug Ritchie, President and CEO.