ProVia Cares for Joplin Tornado Survivors; Witness Damage
Would you travel with your coworkers for a week to a distant
locale and help those in need? Fifteen employees of ProVia Door did just
that through a new program called ProVia Cares, developed through a partnership
with Mennonite Disaster Services (MDS).
“There is so much disaster,” says Joe Klink, director of corporate relations.
“We knew we had people willing to help. A lot of these organizations just
need people to come in and do the work.”
Fifteen employees from ProVia Door were scheduled to travel to Birmingham,
Ala., in July to help with a project. Just two days before the group was
scheduled to leave, the trip organizers in Birmingham postponed it. At
the same time a group about to head to Joplin had to cancel so ProVia
employees changed their travel plans.
The employees made the 15-hour drive from Ohio to Joplin on a Sunday and
worked Monday through Thursday in 100-degree-plus temps and high humidity.
“We office people aren’t used to that,” jokes Klink, who participated
in the program. “The first day was a killer while our bodies adjusted.”
Klink says the employees helped families without homeowners insurance
whose homes were destroyed. “People without insurance are stuck,” he says.
“So MDS finds those people in need and brings teams like ours in to clean
Employees worked to clean up debris, used a Bobcat to tear up concrete,
and helped MDS construct a building to use for base camp, where equipment
was then housed. Klink says employees helped build the roof and walls.
The Joplin trip was the first, but Klink says the company aims to do an
additional three or four in the next year. Employees donate a half week’s
vacation while they are gone and ProVia covers the other half of the week.
“Those who participated simply loved it and helping others really made
an impact,” he says. “One lady told us that her home was completely gone.
She talked to us standing behind a hole in the ground where her home once
stood. She told us, ‘I could hear the roof being ripped off. But people
like you help me with the healing process.’”
He adds that doing trips like these lines up with the company’s core values.
“We are a faith-based company and people are more important than profits.
That philosophy goes clear to the top,” says Klink. “Our CEO says if we
take care of people the profit will take care of itself.”
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