Rubbermaid employees give back on Global Day of Service

By Ryan Cornell

WINCHESTER — Newell Rubbermaid announced a two-year, $1 million partnership with Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday.

To kick off their partnership, the two organizations held a Global Day of Service from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. that involved 73 build sites in 21 countries.

Eight locations in the Winchester area underwent service projects: Discovery Museum; Big Brothers-Big Sisters; Housing, Inc.; Boy & Girls Club; Habitat ReStore; Baker Street fence painting and clean-up; Adopt-A-Street Clean-up; Habitat Administrative Building.

Some of the service projects included cleaning trash from the streets, picking out weeds, painting, reorganizing merchandise and reading to kids and helping them with art projects.

Two work buddies, Warren Williams and Kenny Sikich, teamed up to paint a fence along Baker Street. Although Williams worked a handful of miles away at the Winchester office, Sikich had traveled from his home in Kansas City, Mo., to attend the event.

Sikich, a Newell Rubbermaid key account manager, described the color they were using as “duct tape gray” and was holding the tray of paint for Williams to use his roller. “We felt that the ambiance of the fence was going to go well with the current architecture of the building,” he joked. “The only requirement was to wear clothes that you didn’t mind throwing away.”

At the Discovery Museum site, one team of volunteers was vacuuming the floors, applying polyurethane to wooden sculptures and boards, and cleaning fingerprints, dirt and dust from the museum’s exhibits. Team leader Melanie Franks said given their company CEO’s stance on community service, she thinks they’ll have plenty of similar events in the future.

Jennifer Schneider, manager of public relations at Rubbermaid Commercial Products, said that 104 employees from RCP were given the day off to work on the service projects and would be getting paid per usual.

Mike Butler, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Winchester-Frederick County, was overjoyed by the partnership.

“My email inbox literally had 30 or 40 messages a day back and forth,” he said about the time leading up to Wednesday’s event. “They bring resources we wouldn’t otherwise have.”

The next service project for RCP and Habitat for Humanity is on July 16, when the two groups will build a house together on Highland Avenue. Butler said RCP will contribute a large portion of the cost of the house and will supply resources, workers and other additions.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com