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Delphi employees help spruce up nonprofits

Seventy-five employees participate in Delphi Gives Back Day

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FRESH COAT — (L to R) Vivek Sethapati, William Burkholder, Chris Fruth and renovate a shed for Bona Vista.

Delphi Electronics employees are used to working with each other inside the plant, but for the annual Delphi Gives Back Day on June 26, they got the chance to team build in a different capacity.

Approximately 75 employees volunteered for the day, which entailed tackling various hands-on projects for nonprofits, which often don’t have enough staff or resources to get the projects done themselves. Bona Vista was one of the nonprofits that was lent some extra hands.

“Volunteers are essential to any nonprofit. At Bona Vista Programs, though, we have more properties than we do maintenance staff,” said Alison Brantley, director of development and training. “They work incredibly hard day in and day out to keep our buildings functioning in tip-top shape, but that means that some other smaller projects don’t always get top priority. It’s just the nature of the beast.”

So when Delphi sends employees to volunteer on company time, Brantley said the appreciation “can’t be overstated.”

At Bona Vista, a handful of volunteers filled potholes, stained and sealed bridges, repaired and painted a storage shed, painted a Kindergarten Readiness classroom and the Early Childhood gym, and anchored down speedbumps.

women's transition house

FRESH COAT — Sarah Bas and Ethan Breisch paint the kitchen of the women's transition house.

“The volunteers are not only able to complete a tremendous amount of work, but they let the organizations know that they are valuable. And they see us, and they recognize the work that we do in the community. We appreciate them more than words could ever express,” she said.

Over at Kokomo Rescue Mission, another group of volunteers was sprucing up the Women’s Transition Home. The volunteers painted the fencing around the porch and the kitchen.

Thomas Crocker, a third-year intern at Delphi, said Delphi Gives Back Day is a win-win for employees and the nonprofits.

“I think it’s important to give back to the community. It gets the company involved as well, and working together builds teamwork too,” Crocker said.

Like Brantley at Bona Vista, Anna Brown, special events coordinator at KRM, said Delphi Gives Back Day is a big asset to the nonprofit.

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“They’ve really done some projects that we just haven’t had time to do,” she said. “We’re really excited about what they’re doing with the [women’s transition house]. Every time I go check on the progress, I just couldn’t help but smile. It’s amazing the work they’re putting into it.”

Other projects were completed at the Howard County Historical Society and Seiberling Mansion, Howard Haven, Jackson Street Commons, Habitat for Humanity, and the Kokomo Parks and Recreation Department.

This year marked the 10th year for Delphi Gives Back Day.

Tragedy strikes

women's transition fire

DESTRUCTION — Firefighters work to put out the blaze at the women's transition house on June 29.

Three days after Delphi employees gave fresh coats of paint to the women's transition house, which is run by the Kokomo Rescue Mission, it caught fire.

Thankfully, said Kokomo Rescue Mission Executive Director Van Taylor, none of the four women and one child who live there were home.

The women since have been placed in other temporary housing, thanks to some of their friends and family members, said Taylor.

"We're so thankful that no one was in the house when it broke out at 12:30ish (p.m.), and no one was hurt. No one was injured. No firefighters were injured. We're just really thankful. We have a lot of work to do," he said.

As of last Friday, KRM was waiting to hear back from an insurance adjuster about whether any of the house will be salvageable or whether it's a total loss.

KRM released the following statement on the fire:

"The Kokomo Rescue Mission Staff and Board of Directors are so thankful for the support and prayers from throughout our community following the fire at our Transitions House on Saturday, June 29. Thankfully, no one was injured; however, this is a very difficult time for the Mission, our staff and our ministry programs. We are so grateful for the many inquiries and offers to help. At this time, the Mission has resources to help the residents who were living at the Transitions House with clothing, personal care items and other material items. Monetary donations would be greatly appreciated for the additional expenses the Mission will incur. Donations can be made by mail to Kokomo Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 476, Kokomo, IN 46903-0476 or online at:"