The Best English Lesson
Really, I am allowed to go to India? India. I hear and read a lot about it, so you think you know what to expect. But, you have no idea.
My questions: What is expected of me? How are the Celanese workmates? How does the food taste? What is our lodging like?
First meeting: From five different countries, one after another, my workmates arrived in India. All we knew was we’d be in a foreign country, all with the same mission. Two days later we felt like we’ve known them for years.
Life Is Better When You Dance
I want to say thank you for the amazing opportunity I had to participate in the 2016 Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) trip to New Delhi, India. I’m so proud to work for a company that is really engaged with the community and has good values.
During my two weeks in New Delhi I had the opportunity to bond with eleven exceptional fellow Celanese employees from around the world and learn about their experiences, culture and beliefs. The Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS) staff’s hospitality made New Delhi feel like home. Each day we learned together about the Indian culture, religion and education.
Where Are You From?
In September, eleven Celanese employees departed for New Delhi to participate in the second of two Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) service events in 2016. The second group served for two weeks teaching children, young me and women a variety of school and life skills, from English and Math to sewing and karate. Hear from our CIIP participants as they reflect on their volunteer service.
Where are you from? This is the most frequently asked question of me. So, I also wanted to know how my 8-year-old son would answer this same question given that he has been exposed to many countries in his young life. His parents were born and raised in different countries. He has lived in four different countries. His dad has worked in nearly a dozen countries. He was born in Texas. So, I asked him point blank: “Luke, where are you from?” He, without hesitation, said: “Dad, I am from planet earth.”
A Crash Course In Humility
I was ready for adventure when I joined Celanese, but I had no idea that shortly after joining my career would jump start with a trip to the other side of the world. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to be the project manager for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) leading 2 volunteer teams to India in 2017.
How We Integrated A Syrian Refugee In Our Sulzbach Office
During the past years Europe has been the desired destination of millions of refugees seeking safety and shelter. Not only for Germany this new situation means a big challenge for society. It is a huge responsibility to successfully integrate refugees with a permanent residence permit into our society, culture, language and work environment. That’s why in 2016 various employees from the Frankfurt and Sulzbach site founded the “Celanese refugee initiative Rhine-Main”. Under the umbrella of this initiative we took a step further and were very proud to have our first refugee intern, Mohamed Takika from Syria, working with us in the Celanese Commercial Center in Sulzbach, Germany, in January and February.
No Act Of Kindness, No Matter How Small, Is Ever Wasted
When I first found out I was selected for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) 2016 project to Dharamshala, India, I was very delighted and filled with so much excitement. I knew right then how lucky I was to be able to travel to this beautiful country that is so diverse, filled with lots of great culture, religion, food and people. Adding to this, I was very happy that I had gotten a great opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life and be able to give back. Making a difference, regardless if it was big or small, was my goal. To top it all, I was going to volunteer with a group of our very own like-minded Celanese representatives from all around the globe. Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much, and I was looking forward to the trip with great anticipation.
Upon reaching India I was greeted by our friendly Celanese CIIP team. In no time we were all warmed-up to one another and looking forward to our volunteering assignments with Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS.) The CCS staff was welcoming and catered to our needs with great hospitality. I got the chance to meet and mingle with other volunteers collaborating with CCS too. I remember how all of us understood the definite purpose for being there and the commitment we had.
Top 6 Community Impact Stories From 2016
Through our efforts to reach our goal of 100,000 volunteer hours last year, we made some great memories along the way and had a huge impact in our communities around the world. We wanted to take a moment to highlight the top stories from some of our locations.
So, as we kick off 2017, let’s take a look back at the top 6 community impact stories of 2016.
Proud To Serve Our Global Community
I want to thank you for the wonderful opportunity I had to participate in the Celanese International Impact Program trip to Dharamsala, India in June. I’m grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience in which I participated.
From the moment I met my nine teammates in India, I knew that the experience would be life changing. Although we were 10 people with vastly different skills and talents, it was amazing how we bonded immediately and had just what was needed in our daily work assignments – working with young children in five different Anganwadi’s (early childhood education centers.)
That I May Serve
Namaste mera naam Cole hai, “Hello my name is Cole” in Hindi. In June Celanese completed its Celanese International Impact (CIIP) trip to Dharamsala, India. This was my first time traveling to India, as most of our team, and I knew it was going to be a unique experience. Our time was powerful, eye-opening and rewarding. I never imagined it would have impacted me the way it did.
It was 106 degrees Fahrenheit the day I landed in New Delhi before making the connection to Dharamsala. This was a completely new kind of heat, not what I am used to in southwest Virginia. After my arrival I went to a hotel and met with the only Celanese person I knew, Kathy Borhauer from Bishop, Texas. We only had conversations over the phone but never got the chance to meet in person. At the hotel, I quickly learned hospitality and friendliness were key elements of Indian culture, not just from the staff but from most Indian people we encountered. This comfort was welcomed in what was soon to be a trip filled with several discomforts.
During one of our later lectures, we would hear about how being on time is culturally not a high priority; the needs of family and friends come first, and that sometimes means being a little late. Taking the advice from the hotel, we left for the airport and quickly learned about timeliness. With five minutes before they were scheduled to close, I arrived at the gate. Here I met my family away from home: Kathy, Laura, Geoff, Sara, Jillian, Christy, Silke, Orsi, and Sugam.
Developing Dharma In Dharamsala
As part of Celanese’s International Impact Program (CIIP), I traveled in June with nine other individuals from Celanese to Dharamsala, India, a small city nestled in the mountains in the northeast section of India close to the border of Pakistan. Dharamsala is derived in part from the word “Dharma,” which has a number of different meanings including good works and other activities which are considered beneficial for society. Thus, it was a fitting location for volunteering.
The Best Night In A Long Time
Being selected to serve on the Celanese Foundation Committee, and then joining families with the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky (ESNKY) and having the chance to Improve the World, has been an incredible experience that I will be proud of for the rest of my life. It’s caused me to reflect on the meaning of “family.”
It has also provoked me to think about what “families” mean. It’s not just doing a one-time volunteering event, but building an ongoing relationship with those in the community who we can help. This includes those who manage this wonderful life-saving facility at ESNYK and their overnight guests. In 2016 we have extended our relationships with ESNKY by doing a bowling night, which has become more than just a fun night out, but a real opportunity to build relationships of trust.
All of the hard work and dedication that comes with being a Celanese Foundation member is so rewarding, especially when I hear volunteers share their reflections about time spent with our “Shelter Family.”
Dear Celanese: A Reminder Of What Really Matters In Life
Dharamsala is a small town in India at the foot of the Himalaya mountains. Luckily I was picked together with nine other Celanese colleagues from all around the world to volunteer in a CSR project with kids between the age of one and five.
Emotional was this journey to a country and culture that is so different to my own life in Europe. The kids made me laugh and cry. The feelings that I had each day are very difficult to describe.
Adventurous were our taxi rides.
Rose and thorns were our daily evening rituals in which we described our daily highs and lows and learned so much more about each other, about our feelings, emotions and personalities.
Challenge Completed: UK Style
Hello, my name is Tina, and I have just turned 50 years old. Where did all those years go? I have worked at the Celanese Spondon, United Kingdom facility for what seems like forever. I am an organizer. Fortunately, this trait comes in quite handy when you are the Global Citizen Network (GCN) representative for the Spondon facility and in charge of coordinating all local volunteer efforts.
At this point I should also state that when it comes to charity work or volunteering, we British live up to our reputations and are quite reserved. This is a new concept for us, and even now my friends can’t believe that Celanese allows us to take time from work to volunteer.
The Universal Language Of Smiles
Thank you so much for the privilege of going to India for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) in June. The things I got to see and experience have left me a different person.
I had never been to India before, and I found the country to be everything I had imagined and more. The sights and sounds and smells (both good and bad) were overwhelming at first. During the course of the two weeks there we learned not to be frustrated because the hot water wasn’t working, among other cultural differences.
While in India I found the people to be warm and friendly and loving. The children that we worked with in the early childhood education center were precious, and while the language barrier was difficult, we found other ways to communicate the necessities. It turns out that smiles are a universal language! By the time we left, it was so neat to hear them counting in English while playing hopscotch, reciting the ABCs and singing the songs that we taught them. I think I’ve sung “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” enough to last me a lifetime! They even taught us a little Hindi, even if it might have had a little bit of my southern accent!
How Volunteering Can Open Your Horizon
These days there is at a lot of emphasis on our leadership behaviors at Celanese, our competencies as leaders and on how to drive value. This made me realize I have a very internal, Celanese-specific view on that. However, recently I had the opportunity to widen my horizon just a little.
My daughter, Annika, with a PhD in Sustainability Entrepreneurship, has founded together with her friend Amy what she terms a “social business.” Their approach is to solve a social issue through entrepreneurial means and therefore make a tangible impact on society while still being able to finance themselves. As I got involved in lots of discussions around business plans, financing models, crowdfunding, and legal and tax considerations with Annika and Amy on their start-up, I also became very interested in the environment they are working in and visited the Social Impact Lab Frankfurt. The Social Impact Lab is a community for social entrepreneurs, social start-ups, coworkers and young people with a German and non-German background. It’s a co-working space where young professionals find the creative environment to further develop their ideas, network and seek professional support on their way of becoming self-employed. The lab’s purpose is to incubate the start-up during the first steps.
As my interest in those ideas and start-ups grew, I asked myself how to connect the Celanese Foundation’s volunteering program with the Social Impact Lab and soon started advertising the idea to do a social day where Celanese colleagues could consult young entrepreneurs at the Social Impact Lab.
Stepping Outside Of Myself And Spending Time Serving
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) trip to Dharamsala, India. During our orientation with Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS) when we arrived, the country coordinator told us that India was a land of contradictions. One of the fun things we did as a Celanese team at the end of every day was get together and discuss our highs and lows. I want to tell you a little more about some of the highs and lows to give you a sense of my experience in India and to help you see the contradictions we came across.
Why We Should All Have A Sense of Responsibility Toward The Community
In the last three years, Celanese has established corporate social responsibility goals to make a difference in the community. This year has been unique and more important with the 100K volunteer hour challenge setting a clear objective and direction. The selection of Global Citizen Network (GCN) members and the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) were both part of this challenge. It was huge for me to be selected for both. I would be able to understand a different region and contribute to a community I didn’t know much about.
The Best Lesson Ever
For weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to express my feelings about the two weeks I spent in Dharamsala, India as part of the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP). It was so impressive that it’s hard for me to describe. It was already amazing to get the email that I was selected and I was excited by the thought of volunteering. Knowing that I would have the opportunity to try to make a difference in India seemed so unbelievable…
Why I Volunteer: Meet Trevor And Jacob
I met Trevor and Jacob this spring. They were the first to arrive at a shoe giveaway sponsored by Buckner Children and Family Services. The event took place at an elementary school nestled in the community of Bachman Lake. It was just 7:30 am on a Saturday, but Trevor and Jacob were wide awake and ready to go.
Building A Culture Of Giving And Caring
When I became the first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) coordinator in 2010, my first assignment was to develop an annual event that would allow employees around the company to come together to volunteer in their local communities. We knew that there were plenty of volunteer efforts happening around the company, but because we didn’t have a formal CSR program, we didn’t really know about all of the great things our employees were involved in.
What I Gain As A Volunteer
For the past two years I have volunteered for Special Olympics Edmonton as a track and field coach. The Special Olympics’ motto is: “Committed to enriching the lives of Albertans with an intellectual disability through sport.”
All You Need Is Love
Being pregnant is usually a turning point in a woman’s life. Hormones are running high, the woman’s body changes in an uncontrollable, unpredictable, and amazing way. I have not been pregnant, but my best friend has told me that pregnancy was an incredibly trying time for her, both physically and mentally.
Reflections From Dharamsala – Celanese Employees Improving The World
In June, ten Celanese employees departed for Dharamsala, India to participate in the first of two Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) service events in 2016. The first group’s assignment is to serve for two weeks at an Anganwadi – a daycare setting. A few of our employees reflected on their experience shortly after arriving in India to start their assignments.
The Future Is Brighter In Dallas
When I hear the word Celanese I think of a company with people who truly care about the communities surrounding them. The people at Celanese are willing to get involved, lend a helping hand, and provide resources for schools, neighborhoods, and families.
I am very appreciative of how Celanese has helped me grow professionally. Celanese opened its doors to our corps at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School and O.W. Holmes Middle School and talked to us about the professional working world. It helped us feel more confident in taking steps toward our future. When I talked with the Celanese volunteers, they encouraged me to follow what I love, not be afraid to take risks, and be confident in myself and my abilities.
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.