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Pleasant Prairie's LMI Packaging partners with Lincoln Middle School for their "Week of Caring" Event

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Giving back to the local community has been a core value at LMI Packaging, located in Pleasant Prairie, since the inception of the company in 1967. What began in 2006 as an annual “Day of Caring”, a day reserved for bringing employees together in order to give back to the local community, has been expanded into a “Week of Caring” for 2022.

“We surveyed our employees and asked in what ways they would like to give back to our community,” said Marcia Schlagenhaft, HR manager and member of the planning committee. “Helping our local youth was the top answer.” This year, LMI Packaging partnered with Lincoln Middle School to help restore the school grounds.

“People feel different when they come to a place that looks nice, and put together,” said Star Daley, principal of Lincoln Middle School. “For the 10 years I’ve been here, I’ve said that we needed to do something about the appearance of our school grounds. When LMI approached me with their offer, it felt like a godsend.”

In previous years, LMI Packaging made its Day of Caring mandatory for all staff, closing the business for an entire day to give back. This year, volunteering was optional for employees. More than half still chose to get involved. “By doing an entire week of caring we’re able to get so much more done while also avoiding a shut down,” said JP Moran, the company’s chief executive. “Everyone looks forward to coming together and getting involved.”

The school and the company worked together to design a layout for the grounds, and formulate a plan to get as much work done as possible within the week. “We knew that this project was something our whole team would be engaged in and excited about,” said Marcia.

Once word spread of LMI’S intent to beautify the school grounds, other elements of the community chose to pitch in. The City of Kenosha donated mulch, and Kenosha Unified School District’s faculties team assisted in cement repair work. In addition to providing volunteers, LMI Packaging contributed $1,000 for shrubs, greenery, and other necessary additions to the project.

For LMI employee Steven Walser, the opportunity to give back to Lincoln Middle School was personal. “I attended Lincoln Middle School for all three of my middle school years,” said Walser. “I would drive past the school every so often since leaving it, and notice that it didn’t look too great. I had been wanting to volunteer more, so when this opportunity was offered to us I thought it was perfect.” Walser spent three days at the school, laying mulch, gardening, and landscaping with his coworkers. “I hope this puts a smile on the kids faces, and it makes them see that the community cares about their school.”

Employee Rosie Samano also chose to spend three days volunteering at the school during the Week of Caring event. “It was such a great experience” said Samano, “It’s not just about volunteering, it’s about getting to know our coworkers.”

“Getting to spend time with different employees that you don’t always get to work with was great,” said volunteer and member of the planning committee, Ken Fair. “We were able to all come together and talk and laugh while also giving back.” LMI Packaging plans to continue its relationship with Lincoln Middle School by providing spring and fall clean ups.

“It’s going to help the kids feel ownership over their school. They are going to continue to take care of the watering, and the cleanup,” said Principal Daley, “I think it’s going to create a new sense of community within our school and give our students pride. I can’t thank LMI Packaging enough for helping us get this project up and running.”


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