With 2014 coming to a close and the holidays upon us, it makes me think of what I have to be thankful for… and I have a lot to be thankful for. High on my list is working for a company that has so many people who think of other people first. Our sawmill employees have been supporting their communities in various ways since inception of the business at that particular location. Yes, the activities have evolved as the needs of our rural communities change, but the basic needs of food and clothing and helping kids are a constant theme in all of the communities we serve. While each location has an annual donations budget, the majority of the giving comes from employee resources in terms of time and money.

Our oldest sawmill in Willamina has been supporting the Willamina/Sheridan communities since the 1950s. Their Adopt-A-Family campaign of providing local citizens in need with food, clothing, and gifts during the holidays has morphed into “Adopt-A-Community” with charitable activities going on year-round. The Willamina employee group made us all proud when they received Governor Kitzhaber’s 2014 Volunteer Award for Large Business. This award reflects the hard work and dedication they put into identifying community projects and putting their resources to work to help.

Our Tillamook Sawmill Team started their Adopt-A-Family in 1991 with a $1,500 budget. The 2014 budget was approximately $25,000 with expanded activities that now include food baskets at Thanksgiving as well as the current Christmas effort which includes food baskets and gifts. Tillamook targeted 25 families this year and had their annual food drive spurred on by inter-departmental competition.

Hampton’s Cowlitz Valley sawmills in Morton and Randle started their Adopt-A-Family program in 1999 when the mills were purchased by Hampton and only operated for six months in that first year, but raised $2,600 for the program. This year’s budget is for $24,000 to cover 40 families with 25 children for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Darrington’s Adopt-A-Family program began in 2002 with giving Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets to those in need in Darrington area, as well as the surrounding communities. Over the past 8 years, the Darrington team has provided support to 339 families and 838 children. This year they are spending approximately $24,000 to provide holiday food baskets for 36 families and gifts for 108 kids. Though the holiday season is by far the largest community giving project every year, the Darrington Plant Advisory Committee has also provided support to the local schools, purchasing backpacks, school supplies, winter coats and student body cards. Hampton’s Darrington team is also to be commended for their involvement in the rescue and recovery efforts surrounding the tragic Oso mud slide last spring.

Our newest sawmill team in Warrenton jumped into the spirit of things last year with a program that provided gifts for 23 children and holiday dinners with extra food staples to fill their home pantries. Close to 7,000 lbs of food and 42 frozen turkeys were collected and donated to Clatsop County Community shelters. New this year is the sawmill’s partnership with the Warrenton Fire Department to help them distribute food baskets and gifts. Warrenton employees also donate quarterly through payroll deductions to the Clatsop Community Actions Regional Food Bank.

Steve Zika
CEO, Hampton Lumber