It is the holidays, a traditional . In the time for giving , we are highlighting some of the spirit of the season year-round. extraordinary volunteer work that employees at Constellium perform to those who generously offer their time and energy to help improve the lives of others, and happy holidays to all! Thank you
Man’s best friend
If you run into Thierry Boucaud outside work hours, chances are he’ll have a puppy in tow. Thierry, a 30-year veteran of our Issoire plant, has been volunteering for a French charity called Handi’Chiens since 2007. Handi’Chiens trains dogs to be constant companions for adults and children with disabilities. The furry helpers open doors for people in wheelchairs, sleep next to kids who suffer from insomnia, and in some cases can even predict epileptic seizures. Thierry raises each puppy until 18 months of age, teaching it to be comfortable in all situations, from classrooms to train stations, and to do simple tasks such as fetching clothing from a closet. Experts at Handi’Chien continue the dog’s training until 24 months, then give each one to a beneficiary in need. Since its creation in 1989, Handi’Chien has trained 2,000 assistant dogs. “It’s so great, especially for children,” says Thierry. “A dog completely changes their experience, and is a source of pride.”
Pitching in during the pandemic
COVID-19 proved challenging for all, but it also gave some the chance to volunteer in ways they didn’t have time to before. Jessica Davis is an office manager and executive assistant at Constellium’s office in Baltimore, Maryland. When the pandemic hit, she decided to help out, saying, “I’m thankful I’ve been able to continue working, which has not been a reality for everyone. This pandemic has made it harder for others to survive and get to the resources they need, while catapulting others right into the storm. So for me it was simple—I had the time, desire, and ability to volunteer and help others.” Jessica volunteered at the Maryland Food Bank Distribution Center, sorting and packing items for food banks, and at Johns Hopkins University, preparing medical gowns for health care workers and first responders.
Gifting turkeys and toys
Holiday season provided our employees further opportunities for acts of generosity. At Thanksgiving, Bowling Green gave turkeys to its employees, and 30 employees chose to donate their birds and other food supplies to the Salvation Army for families in need. In France, employees at our C-TEC technology center donated toys to “Les Restos du Coeur” for underprivileged families at Christmas. And in Germany, employees from the Gottmadingen and Singen plants made wishes come true for kids at a local children’s home. Constellium asked the children to write up their Christmas wish lists, then gathered the lists at the human resources offices for any employees interested in fulfilling them. The response was so great, employees picked up all the lists in a matter of hours. The children received their gifts in time for Christmas, delighted that their wishes had come true.
Everyone has his or her own personal Everest to climb. Philippe Scherrer is a mountain trail runner who works at our Neuf-Brisach plant and supports a charity called “A chacun son Everest,” supporting children and women in remission from cancer. The charity was founded by Dr. Christine Janin, the first Frenchwoman to climb Everest. It organizes group treks in the Alps, helping children and women regain confidence in their abilities. Philippe accompanies the groups, and also raises money for the charity by running the “Ultra Trail Mont Blanc,” a 170-km endurance run with a total ascent of around 9,000 meters (about the same height as Everest). During the grueling 40-hour run, Philippe is buoyed by his memories of hikes with the charity, such as a 7.5 km trek with a group of 6- to 13-year-olds. “When I thought about the effort they put into that hike, how they had overcome the effects of their illnesses and reached the finish line, it put all my aches and pains into perspective,” he says. “Remembering how euphoric they had all been when they reached their summit helped me to reach mine.”
According to the World Stroke Organization, one in four adults over age 25 will experience a stroke in their lifetimes. Michèle Godicheau, an Environment, Health and Safety manager in France, came face to face with this statistic in 2018, when she suffered from a stroke and ended up in the intensive care unit. Six months later, she came back to work at Constellium and became a patient-expert volunteer at the hospital. "I help people who have had a stroke and liaise between them and the neurologists and nurses,” she says. “It gives me a real boost.”
Paint the plant pink
Many of our people support charities dedicated to healthcare. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and our employees in Ravenswood, West Virginia set a record in 2020 by beating their fundraising goal of $25,000 to support the fight against cancer. Lori McKee and Emily Jordan led the Ravenswood Pink Team and Relay for Life Team, with a month-long campaign and a theme of Early Detection Saves Lives. (Their annual Pink Golf Tournament alone raised $17,000 in donations.) Additional fundraisers came in the form of raffle tickets, cancer awareness apparel sales, honor board ribbon sales, and a 5k Run and Fun Walk.
For the past few years, Constellium has joined forces with the nonprofit American Corporate Partners, which helps military veterans with the challenging transition to civilian life and a new career. Several employees at our Ravenswood, Muscle Shoals, Van Buren, White, and Baltimore locations have become mentors, offering one-to-one guidance and networking opportunities. They help veterans to search for jobs, write up their resumes, prepare for interviews, and much more. Volunteers include Teresa Kerns, a community relations coordinator at Ravenswood, who says, “We are excited and consider it an honor to mentor someone who sacrificed so much for us.”
, Constellium strives to Inspired by employee volunteers we call home. Each year, we sponsor hundreds of local initiatives around the world dedicated to education, health, food, shelter and the environment as part of our make a difference in the communities . commitment to a more sustainable world