Do you know what it’s like to face homelessness? Being homeless is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. While it’s difficult to be homeless, it’s even more difficult to admit defeat and walk through our doors at the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky and seek help.
Fortunately, individuals come to us with a hope for change. Through the financial and volunteer support of the Celanese Foundation, we’re able to make a difference with the homeless community here year round.
The challenges faced by homelessness are most urgent in the Winter, when temperatures dip to hyperthermia levels. We opened our doors for the first time in the Winter of 2008 as the region’s only cold-weather shelter for adults. When it’s below freezing, we never turn anyone away. That’s when we live our mission…
We Are All Global Citizens
At Celanese, we have a lot of brain power. We use our intellect, technology and creativity to create customer value. As employees, we work hard to be the first-choice chemistry solution source for our customers.
As global citizens, we are called upon to improve the world by making a difference in the communities where we live and work. We also have a lot of heart at Celanese. I’ve seen firsthand the difference we are making. In both small and big ways, we inspire each other to do more– whether running for charities to support a cause we believe in, donating clothing, blankets and toys to brighten the holidays for families in need, Team Celanese racing to the finish line to raise money to fund…
Running With Purpose
On Friday, December 4, my husband, Marcus, and I traveled from Dallas to Memphis for my first marathon. We arrived at the Cook Convention Center and met up with family to check-in prior and enjoy the benefits of the expo. While standing in line, workers rang cow bells and cheered. I felt proud when they announced that I had raised $9,000 for St. Jude. I was handed bib number 782 with GoGirlGo printed on it, and in less than 24 hours, the race would be under way.
Saturday morning was cold, but the sun was shining. With our family, Marcus and I made our way to the start line. The music was loud and my excitement grew. At 8:00 am the race began and corrals were released at 2-minute intervals. We were sent off by the cheers of our family and others lining the streets in support of the St. Jude Marathon.
It was time to put all of my effort and training (70 running days and 356 miles) to the test and enjoy the experience of running a marathon. Running for a purpose took on a new meaning for me when the route took us through the St. Jude campus and children lined the route and cheered us on. One couple came prepared with silver beads and as they passed each child, they hung a strand around their neck. It was an emotional experience I will not forget.
Going Full Circle
For the first four years of employment here, I often wondered what was my purpose at Celanese? Why was I placed here? I knew there had to be a reason, but I just couldn’t pinpoint it. I knew there was a plan, but it was not my plan.
I can still remember the phone call with the Celanese recruiter who had found my resume on Indeed.com, asking me if I had heard of Celanese. I eagerly responded, I did, since I had often seen the big orange C every day on my way to work driving on the LBJ Freeway. In fact, my job at that time was right across the street! However, it never dawned on me to apply here during my job search.
Why Do I Run? I Run For Raymond.
I began running in February of 2014, while my husband, Marcus, was training for his first half marathon in Pittsburg, Pa. His efforts motivated me, so I downloaded the ”Couch to 5K” app and got started.
I was bit by the running bug when we picked up his bib and bag of goodies for the Pittsburg race. The atmosphere was electric when I left Marcus in his assigned corral to wait for the race to begin. With my course map in hand, I proceeded to find my first location to cheer him on. When I saw Marcus running, I was so proud of him; he was running his first half marathon. Given the size of this event, I was unable to see Marcus cross the finish line in person, but his verbal account along with the photo sealed it for me; I was going to be a part of crossing future finish lines with him.
I continued my training and before long I was able to run a 5K without stopping. Shortly thereafter, my Dad’s (Raymond Dewayne Summers, Sgt. E7, Vietnam 65-66) health began to decline due to lung cancer, so I made as many trips home as possible so I could spend time with him. While visiting, running in Okeena Park became part of our daily routine. My dad would take his spot on the bench in the shade, and I would take off running with music playing in my ears. When I got close to him, I would silence the music so I could hear his cheers of “Go Girl Go.” My Dad had coined this phrase for me earlier, but hearing it when I ran past him made it very special for me.
Why A Social Day Is Always Worth It
In line with the motto “Take a short break, catch your breath, make some people happy,” we used our Social Day 2015 as a part of our Global Impact Month to strengthen the team. Our job was for a team of eight to paint the recreation room, hallway and kitchen in the childcare center in Hofheim-Lorsbach, near Frankfurt. Overall, the project was “one of those days again that it’s worth going to work,”summed up one of the participants at the end of the day. Even if work this particular day had nothing to do with e-mails, procedures and files, it was a great day filled with paint splatters and freshly painted walls.
How To Make Your Money Do More – Give Back On Super Impact Monday!
Today Dallas is kicking off its Annual Giving Campaign! This year’s campaign theme is Bright start. Big heart, and it’s an opportunity for employees to give back to the community and lend a helping hand to those who need our support. As the lead of the Dallas site committee, I see the front line of our charitable contributions and I have never seen a use of Foundation funds that hasn’t impressed and inspired me. As such, I thought long and hard about my donation this year, in particular how I could increase my giving while still getting the mortgage paid! Charity feels good, I’m not disputing that, but we all have a comfort level and I wondered to myself “is there a way for me to give more without it hurting?” Well, a few weeks ago, on laundry day, something clicked.
Walking With Heart
On Saturday, September 12th I participated with 164 Dallas employees and their families in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk in downtown Dallas. Employees came together and successfully raised $9,075 for heart health benefiting the American Heart Association (AHA). Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. I walked to honor my mama and this is my “Life is Why” story:
After my mother died of congestive heart failure in 2013, years passed before I realized her forgetfulness and inability to do simple tasks were symptoms of heart disease. At first, my mother’s memory loss wasn’t alarming. However, the first time she forgot something major it frightened me because my mother had always been full of life and wisdom. We thought it happened because she was just getting older and more forgetful.
A Jump Start In Sneakers
Personally, I always enjoy participating in social and team events. Especially at a sporting event like the J.P. Morgan Chase Run where It is easy to just jump into the next conversation around you and get to know new colleagues from others sites, departments and businesses. Where else would I have the chance to meet all these faces?
Sport has always been a good (and healthy) reason for people to get together and join the race. That’s why I also decided this year to not let the Frankfurt Chase happen without me. I grabbed my bags, a few colleagues from the Dutch site in Geleen and took the bus to Germany. During the 3-hour ride, not only were our sneakers ready for the excitement, but also our moods for the biggest Celanese European team event.
Celanese And City Year: Making Better Happen In Dallas
The hallways of Franklin D. Roosevelt High School are now much quieter than they were a month ago. Students are taking a break from lessons and lectures as they enjoy the summer months. Though, when they return, their hallways, gyms, and outdoor spaces will be more beautiful than when they left thanks to the partnership of City Year and the Celanese Foundation. On May 29th, nearing the end of the school year, Celanese employees visited Roosevelt to paint the hallways and gyms, plant gardens, and build picnic tables to create a more welcoming environment for the students when they return.
This Little Light Of Mine
It was a typical work day. I heard there was a Big Brothers Big Sisters lunch and learn so I decided to attend (I was interested, yet I thought I had no extra time in my life). The presentation highlighted a new mentoring program – mentor2.0. As I listened, I thought to myself: “I could handle one weekly email and quarterly in-person events – that’s definitely doable.”
My Little Sister and I learned about each other through our emails. It felt kind of like we were pen pals. Seeing her at our in-person visits was like catching up with a friend. Over time she shared that math and English were difficult for her. I supported her throughout the year and encouraged her to keep working hard and to leverage all the school resources to help her succeed.
A Job Is Just A Piece Of The Solution
One afternoon recently we received a frantic telephone call from a Vogel mom. She was at her brand new job, a job that pays better than minimum wage and could be the start of better things for her and her 4-year-old daughter. This job, combined with support from her housing program and Vogel Alcove, could be her ticket to re-establishing herself with self-sufficiency and independence.
Bringing Color To Your Future Path: Girls’ Day In Frankfurt, Germany
What does a chemistry company do? Twelve girls between the ages of 14 and 16 took advantage of Girls’ Day to seek answers to this question at the Emulsion Polymers lab at our Frankfurt production site. Founded in 2001, this annual event is designed to allow girls in this age group an insight into a variety of companies, institutions and organizations to see what exciting jobs they have to offer. After a safety briefing and a short introduction to Celanese, it was down to business for the girls. Well equipped with safety coats and glasses and split into groups of four, the young ladies learned about what a day at the lab looks like. In addition, they had the chance to peek behind the scenes at the field of natural sciences.
How CCA Is Helping To Bring Hope And Change Lives
My name is Courtney and I am a single mother who came to Christian Community Action (CCA) at the suggestion of a friend. I had been on bed rest for months through a difficult pregnancy, and was unemployed. I had lost my home due to a recent divorce and was also unable to make my car payments. I was only able off the street because relatives gave me and my children a room.
How I Gave Up My Lunch And Became A Rockstar Reader
It’s hard to believe we’re already three months in to the new year. The resolutions and promises that we made with such zealous excitement on January 1 seem daunting and are slipping ever further down on your to do list…
A Heart For Refugees
In Germany alone, 158,000 refugees have sought protection this year. They flee their homelands because they fear war and political power struggles and consequently see no opportunities there for themselves. For this reason, we, the nine bachelor degree students at the Celanese Sulzbach site in Germany, took heart and organized a social day at Villa Anna in Eppstein during this pre-Christmas season.
The Villa Anna, which was once an addiction therapy center, was converted into a shelter for…
Making Myself At Home
I always look forward to participating in Celanese’s Global Impact Week (GIW). Employees from around the globe volunteer simultaneously and positively to impact the people and communities where we live, work and play. This year 3,588 employees spent 17,556 hours working with local organizations that needed our help painting, planting, learning, cooking, visiting and more. Thank you for your commitment to improving the world around you!
This year, my team volunteered at Vogel Alcove. Vogel Alcove provides …
CIIP Going Local
As a member of the Celanese Foundation Dallas Site Committee (DSC), I have been involved in numerous discussions regarding how we can embrace, grow and fulfill our core value of “Improving the World.” These discussions have taken place in DSC meetings, over lunch with colleagues and in the hallways of LCB and DBS.
One of the exciting ideas to come out of these discussions involves taking “Local” the concept of the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) where we would take the knowledge and skills that we have as Celanese professionals and apply those to local NGOs for their benefit. Of course, we always have to have an acronym for something here at Celanese, so how about this: CLIP or Celanese Local Impact Program.
I am proud to say that we are already seeing this “CLIP” concept in action. During the week beginning September 29, a team of…
Celanese Foundation Annual Giving Fair – Giving Hope!
Recently at the Celanese company headquarters in Dallas, more than 40 non-profit organizations in the areas of health, education, hunger and shelter spent two hours sharing their organizations services with more than 250 employees and visitors at the Celanese Foundation Annual Giving Fair. The event was followed up with a survey allowing employees the opportunity to provide feedback on agencies and areas they want the Celanese Foundation to financially support in the future.
Hope is so important to this endeavor, and it was encouraging to see hope in action. As an event planner for Celanese, setting up and preparing for the organizations, employees and guests — and then watching everyone…
Lessons Learned On The Beach
The volunteer work we did was relatively simple – sift the sand on the beach through screens to separate rocks, debris and other objects so the former seaside resort town could return to its previous beautiful state. The lessons I learned from touring the town and learning about the catastrophe were more complex.
Approximately 30 minutes after the earthquake, a wall of water between 50 and 60 feet high swept through the town with the type of force I had previously only seen (or imagined) in movies. Sixty-two percent of the towns 4,000 households were…
A Real CHASE For Team Spirit
Even though the great Chase Run 2014 event was several weeks ago, I still have fond memories of watching all the runners show up to the after party wearing their fun shirts that said “Ich bin …”(“I am…”). We have quite a creative team — as well as a confident team –based on the words and phrases that were written and worn during the race.
This was my first big event with Celanese, and it was great to see so many participants from all over Europe — and even one from…
Finishing Together – Team Spirit Found
It was a beautiful summer evening in Germany. A helicopter soared over skyscrapers, broadcasting from one of the world’s largest races, the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. Crowds gathered together with a contagious excitement with the aim of promoting wellness in the workplace. 71,000 participants filled the downtown Frankfurt streets for a memorable 3.5 mile run.
Taking everything in, I looked over at my colleague, Eszter and reflected on when we first met. Just one week before, there she stood at the airport gate welcoming me with a…
A Workday More Fun Than A Barrel Of Monkeys
I read about the Kobelt Zoo in the newspaper. I was impressed that admission to the zoo – now almost 100 years old – is free, and that the employees there work on a voluntary basis.
Since I also found out that the zoo currently has problems in meeting requirements by the local authorities, I thought it would be a good candidate for support through the Celanese Social Day. The Celanese Global Communications team immediately agreed and many of my colleagues were also excited about the idea. So in April of this year, me and a team of 33 colleagues set off for…
Operate Responsibly: A Common Mission Of All Celanese Facilities
Honesty, openness, integrity and doing what is right is how we describe being a responsible company. These basic principles guide how we act on a daily basis with regard to the community, our employees and the environment.
At the Bishop site in south Texas, we are very fortunate to have an excellent relationship with the local community, one which has been earned over the past 68 years. Quarterly community meetings are conducted to review the site’s major activities and address any concerns that may exist. Here are some examples of…
Young Experts Behind The Scenes: Boys’ Day 2014 In Sulzbach, Germany
When you are at the age of eleven, you really don’t spend that much time philosophizing about what you want to be when you grow up. The German Boys’ Day and Girls’ day events are a perfect opportunity for all these open, young minds to gather first-hand ideas on their plans for the future. Founded for the girls in 2001, and for the boys in 2011, respectively, this annual event is designed to allow boys and girls from grades five to 10 the great chance to gain insight into companies, institutions and organizations and what exciting jobs they have to offer.
In Sulzbach, we hosted 12 super-curious boys ages 10 to 14 and made them dive into the world of…
The Celanese Foundation: Where We Have Been and Where We Will Go
I can’t believe it’s already been over three years since we launched our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, Celanese Connects. I believe it has truly changed the culture and attitude here at Celanese. It’s amazing what we can accomplish by coming together as one to make our communities a little better each day through programs like Global Impact Week, Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) and our many volunteer efforts around the globe.
This is great, but how can we make an even bigger difference? Seems like a difficult question considering the amount of time and effort we have put into our local communities over the past three years with over 25,000 volunteer hours contributed. The answer?…
The Budapest MikuLASS Charity Run For The Visually Impaired
Through my role in the Budapest office, I have the opportunity to actively participate and lead community relations programs such as charity events or volunteering programs. I am also lucky enough to meet a lot of very interesting people, like last October when I met Steve Kalnoky.
Steve is a Hungarian who lived in the U.S. for a long time and got a really good taste for charity and volunteering there. Like me, he quickly realized the immense differences between community relations practices in the U.S. and here in Hungary.
Steve is a runner. He has been running for years, and when he came back to live in Hungary he continued this hobby on the Margaret Island in the middle of…