STOBG CARES: Acts of Kindness During Crisis
With 24-hour news coverage, social media at our fingertips, and circumstances changing by the minute, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the “bad” of the COVID-19 global pandemic. But, in times of crisis, there are plenty of positive moments that give us hope. This page will house the good stories we’re hearing from across the STOBG family. Check in each week as we cover the many ways our offices around the world are coming together to help their communities.
We’ll be updating this page periodically. Keep checking in here for more inspiring stories.
As many kids head into uncertain school circumstances this fall, our Boston STOWIC (STO Women in Construction) group wanted to help. The team put together over 150 COVID-19 “essentials” kits for the children served by Child Care of the Berkshires to make sure they have proper gear to help them stay healthy.
Collected from donations by employees, each kit included two child-sized masks and two small bottles of hand sanitizer. The group also donated cleaning supplies, masks, and gloves for the child care center itself. Child Care of the Berkshires helps families in need in Berkshire County, Massachusetts by providing child care as well as family education, support services, and advocacy. With the COVID-19 essentials kits in hand, CCB can help families cover at least one of their concerns as their kids kick off an unconventional school year.
Since the start of the COVID-19 shelter in place order, BCCI’s Community Builders Committee—a group of BCCI employees committed to encouraging positive action within their communities—has been working hard to continue supporting the organizations and initiatives they normally would during this time. Here’s how they’ve been making a difference on the West Coast:
Helping the frontlines. Like many members of our STO family, our colleagues at BCCI have donated medical supplies, made masks, and donated blood to aid healthcare professionals on the frontlines of this global crisis. However, they’ve also made an effort to educate the members of their communities about how to stop the spread by posting printed public health announcements at condos, businesses, and homes throughout San Francisco.
Lending a hand. Over the last few weeks, many of BCCI’s Building Communities Committee members have gone out of their way to help those that might not be able to help themselves in this current situation. They’ve volunteered at food banks, delivered groceries and medication to seniors, and some even helped set up video calls with doctors for people living in senior houses across San Francisco. The committee is also involved in Hot Meals at Saint Mark’s Church in Berkeley, a program that provides a monthly sit-down meal to over 80 people experiencing homelessness in the Bay Area. While they can’t necessarily gather for a meal, BCCI and the church have been able to continue providing food by reducing the number of volunteers, requiring volunteer PPE, and transitioning to take-out style meals.
Being conscious consumers. From groceries to haircare, BCCI employees have been making a big effort to support local businesses. For some employees, that means ordering take out every couple of days. For others, it means supporting brands like Uncut Standards, who are donating a percentage of their proceeds to local hair salons and barber shops. Many of the BCCI team are also participating in the AmazonSmile program, which offers the same prices and selection as Amazon.com, but Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to a charity of your choice.
The STOBG companies across the Northeast came together to donate over a thousand KN95 masks to Penn Medicine—and our own team members made the deliveries themselves! Thank you to everyone involved in getting this essential PPE to the healthcare heroes that need them.
“Urmil, thanks so much for helping us get those masks! The hospital and the staff are very thankful!!! The dialysis nurses were expected to sit with COVID-positive patients for four hours for dialysis wearing a plain mask. Now with these, they will be able to rotate and preserve the N95s. They are very grateful!”
A handful of Structure Tone Southwest employees have even taken it upon themselves to start making their own masks at home. Together, they’ve donated over 100 homemade masks to their local communities. What an incredible effort!
Like many of our offices around the globe, Structure Tone New Jersey has gone above and beyond to help during the COVID-19 crisis. Our New Jersey office researched their inventory of supplies and felt compelled to help two medical centers in their area. They donated 200 N95 masks to Hackensack Meridian Health and gave Atlantic Health Systems 200 N95 masks, eight negative air machines, four port-o-johns, 40 bunny suits, boxes of white tape, six porto-johns, and provided restroom trailers at three different locations.
On top of donating supplies, Structure Tone New Jersey created a detailed construction plan to help reduce contact between patients and staff at Atlantic Health Systems. In an effort minimize their PPE usage, they provided 100 door vision kits to allow doctors to check on patients’ rooms without needing to enter all the time. The New Jersey team also installed 10 doors and 300 linear feet of Edge Guard to create a temporary isolation wings at multiple facilities. Additionally, Structure Tone added three doors and 60 linear feet of Edge Guard to separate the emergency department from the other wings. New Jersey’s healthcare team even transformed a physical therapy space into 17 temporary treatment bays to for COVID-19 patients in just eight days. They are currently working on removing over 100 windows in order to create negative air rooms for isolation at three different sites.
Structure Tone New Jersey is also working with Hackensack Meridian health at three sites to create approximately 80 temporary patient treatment bays. Way to go, STNJ!
In the Amazon building, the team noticed conveyor belts had shifted and loose bolts were all over the floor. Layton leaders, Todd Hardcastle and Richard Fox mobilized employees to get the conveyor system back up and running later that evening. Cameron Treat, Mike George, and Travis Mortensen reached out to UPS over text to make sure everyone was okay. Then, they sent the structural engineer, Greg Dunn, to inspect the site. Greg found there had been minor movement, which the team had planned for and incorporated into the design. He repaired a few roof drains and was able to clear the building, allowing UPS employees to return to work.
What made this more special is the message Layton received from UPS: “Just wanted to say thank you to all involved in the design and construction of this building. I can say you did it right! Hopefully there is enough toilet paper available so we can deliver it.”
Check out their LinkedIn video here.Go to https://www.linkedin.com/posts/bcci_constructiongivesback-donateppe-activity-6647984159769927680-w4KJ/
Rob Dias, a member of Govan Brown’s site management team, has been working closely with Hand Up Toronto, an organization that aims to combat homelessness across the city. Rob has become one of the organization’s most integral volunteers over the last few weeks. He’s spent the last two weekends setting up a drive through food bank in the Toronto’s Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre parking lot, where volunteers handed out care packages to those in need. Both CTV and CP24 were on site reporting the organization’s amazing efforts.
Last month, Rob Dias and Sarah Paul also volunteered their time to sort through skids of food and supplies that were distributed to over 500 homes throughout Toronto. Borne of Hand Up Toronto, this initiative was coined Hand Up For Kids and was created to help alleviate food insecurity for families during the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you, Rob and Sarah!