At Millwood, our company culture is a top priority. That’s why our corporate office formed the morale team several years ago. The morale team’s purpose is to show team members that they are appreciated and foster a sense of community among coworkers. They do this through hosting events like Employee Appreciation Day, Dog Day, weekly lunches or little surprises as simple as free Starbucks. When the pandemic hit and Millwood’s corporate team members began working from home, the morale team had to get creative to keep team members connected.
One of the initiatives that started during the pandemic was the Millwood morale challenge last summer. The challenge consisted of simple tasks sent each week to every corporate team member’s email inbox. Those who completed the challenge filled out a survey about their experience to be put into a drawing for a gift card to a local restaurant of their choosing. This year, the challenge was expanded beyond the walls of corporate to team members at facilities across the country.
This summer’s challenges centered around self-care, caring for others and caring for the wider community. Team members reported that the self-care challenges made them feel invigorated and more healthy, and caring for others made them feel a sense of pride and community. In some cases, team members went above and beyond in caring for those around them.
One of July’s challenges was to pay it forward by buying coffee for a friend or a stranger. Bill Snashall, a member of our R&S team in Powell, OH, took it a step further and paid for an entire pizza for a stranger.
“I was having a terrible day. I thought about getting someone coffee, but it was dinnertime, so I paid for a pizza for the person who came after me so they’d have a good day,” Bill said.
The recipient of Bill’s kindness was so touched that she was brought to tears.
“The restaurant owner picked up my tab for next time, he wouldn’t let me pay,” Bill said. “So, the rewards were in multiples.”
Bill was also the winner of July’s gift card drawing, but asked that the morale team give his prize to someone who needed it more.
Bill’s $50 was donated to the Mahoning Valley Second Harvest Food Bank, which collects, stores, and distributes food to hunger-relief organizations in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull Ohio counties. For every $1 given, the Food Bank distributes $11 worth of food, which is equivalent to six meals. Bill’s gift will provide 300 meals to hungry people through church pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, shelters for battered women and after school programs.
Bill wasn’t the only team member to use the challenge as a way to give back to the community. Another of July’s challenges was to support a non-profit in some way. For some, volunteer service is already a part of their everyday life. Jose Vazquez, a plant supervisor from Alburtis, PA shared his experience.
“Jesus asked in scripture if we would feed those who are hungry,” he said. “Hunger goes beyond the physical, and many of these people hunger for a love that no human can provide. To see others through His eyes is to see a glimpse of the kingdom, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for any amount of gold or silver.”
Even challenges as simple as sending a thank-you note encouraged team members to spread kindness to others.
“It brightened my day knowing I did something kind,” Yvonne Drennen, corporate payroll manager, who sent a thank you note to a coworker.
Millwood is proud to have team members who exemplify our pillar of servitude, and who are always ready to lift others up or lend a hand.
Congratulations to our June winner, Mayra Sanchez, plant administrator from Melrose Park, IL, our July winner, Bill Snashall from the R&S team in Powell, OH, our August winner, Ashley Kolat, IT support specialist at corporate and our grand prize winner, Chris Finley, plant administrator in Apple Creek, OH.