Like many companies today, YKK is concerned with helping people who have been affected by recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Maria which plowed through Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, and the earthquake which struck central Mexico on September 19, 2017.
At YKK AP America Inc., our architectural products company, Angel Báez and Veronica Acosta were among the employees at that company whose families were affected by the storm.
“Those first few days of not being able to communicate with anyone on the island were incredibly stressful,” said Acosta, YKK AP America’s office administrator. “My grandfather’s home requires extensive repairs to make it fully livable. Thankfully it was not a total loss, and they are able to make it work.”
Employees at YKK AP America’s Austell, Georgia location drove an initiative to come together in an effort to help the citizens of Puerto Rico. Their wellness committee raised money from colleagues to donate to relief efforts. The committee also connected with Atlanta-based organization, Serve the World, an organization that helps people, businesses, and churches across the country find ways to aid disaster-relief, homelessness, and struggling families and children.
On October 30, 2017, YKK AP America employees from across the company including engineering, HR, product development, administration and the YKK AP Project Center, gathered at a rented warehouse in Norcross, Georgia. Together, these employees dug through boxes of donations, sorting, organizing, labeling and packaging them again for delivery to families in Puerto Rico.
“To have the opportunity to help our friends and families, and to have management recognize our initiative and pay us for the day of volunteer work was incredible,” said Acosta. “I was so proud to know that we were doing something to help the cause.”
After learning about YKK AP America’s efforts, Báez’s sister, Joanne, who lives in Puerto Rico, wrote to him and said, “As a Puerto Rican living closely to this sad situation and knowing the needs of thousands of other Puerto Ricans that still don’t have anything, I feel more than grateful and happy that there are hearts full of love and willing to share. I know it will be a great help to each person that receives these goods. I’m more than grateful that all of you have come forward to help my island.”
Employees at the headquarters of YKK (U.S.A.) Inc., our fastening company in Marietta, Georgia, were also concerned with how Hurricane Maria would impact their customers, friends and families. Living YKK founder, Tadao Yoshida’s philosophy, the Cycle of Goodness, which teaches that “no one prospers without rendering benefit to others,” the Wellness Committee at the YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. headquarters gathered donations for the residents of Puerto Rico who had been severely impacted by the storm.
While there was widespread damage to the entire island of Puerto Rico, one of the hardest hit areas, Corozal, is home to Bluewater Defense, Inc., a customer of YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. Through the generosity of the employees at the headquarters of YKK (U.S.A.) Inc., the company was able to provide a full pallet of donations which were sent directly to Bluewater Defense, Inc.
Employees at YKK Mexicana, our company, whose headquarters are located in Irapuato, Mexico, also acted generously by collecting many different basic items of necessity and donating them to residents who were affected by the earthquake in the Mexican states of Puebla and Morelos and in the Greater Mexico City area. The items they collected included paper towels, toothpaste and toothbrushes, baby blankets, baby and adult diapers, sanitary napkins, and over-the-counter medications, as well as food items such as rice, canned tuna, mayonnaise, soups, corn, beans, milk and coffee.
By acting compassionately and donating items to the people affected by these disasters, the employees at each of these companies have followed one of our fundamental behaviors called Give Back, which states, “regularly seek out opportunities to assist those in need, both individually and through coordinated team activities. We are proud of all of the employees at each of these companies for giving of their time and for the generosity they showed in helping their fellow man.