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Hundreds of helping hands

LyondellBasell fields more than 100 volunteers for Global Care Day

Employees from LyondellBasell in Morris place a fence post at the Boy Scout of America Rainbow Council Camp in Morris during LyondellBasell's Global Care Day.
Employees from LyondellBasell in Morris place a fence post at the Boy Scout of America Rainbow Council Camp in Morris during LyondellBasell's Global Care Day.

MORRIS – The rain stayed away long enough Saturday for the more than 100 LyondellBasell employees, friends and families to show their support for the company’s Global Care Day.

The volunteers spent their day painting, repairing, refurbishing and sprucing up around the Boy Scout of America Rainbow Council Camp in Morris.

Having that much manpower and materials donated made a big difference to the camp.

“To have 100 people come at once. ... What we do today would have taken all summer,” said John Harrington, a Rainbow Council board member.

Saturday was LyondellBasell’s 19th Global Care Day, and it has grown competitive in recent years, site manager Tim Carnell said.

It was a day for the company and its employees to give back to local communities, but locations will engage in friendly competition to see which can bring out the most volunteers compared with the previous year.

The Morris Complex won that title last year, Carnell said, with the biggest increase in volunteers.

Planning for the day begins months in advance. The Boy Scouts had actually approached LyondellBasell in 2017, but the committee had already chosen Chapin Park in Morris as the location.

Mike Theis, a member of the planning committee for Global Care Day in Morris, said planning for what to do at the camp began about six months ago.

Projects included painting, including buildings and about 100 short concrete pillars around the camp.

“They’re the perfect height for kids to paint,” LyondellBasell spokeswoman Megan Borchers said.

A crew built a fence near the camp entrance, including digging and redigging post holes for supports.

The Morris Lions Club donated the materials and some volunteers to build 18 picnic tables at the camp, something Harrington said they always need more of. Another crew took lights from around the camp fire pit – which had become rusted and tarnished from outdoor use – and polished them to look new.

Having workers come through at once allowed other projects that never would have made the priority list get done. The camp is run with mostly volunteers regularly.

Carnell said it didn’t take much to get employees to come out on a Saturday and get their hands dirty.

“It’s something ingrained in the culture,” he said.

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