The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted various facets of our lives and created an ever-changing environment with new rules of engagement. After the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suddenly changed their stance in April and issued their recommendation for individuals to wear facial coverings in public, it sent companies scrambling to secure commercially available supplies. LyondellBasell sites already had orders placed, but getting supplies in hand in a timely manner was a challenge due to global shortages. Recognizing the need and having a desire to help, many employees and their families grabbed sewing machines and sergers to assist colleagues and help their communities.
“I wanted to do something to pitch in so I ordered what I thought was a sewing machine,” said Yarelis Hernandez, site manager, LyondellBasell Clinton Complex. “Turns out I actually ordered a serger. This must have happened for a reason because I felt the need to help.”
Hernandez has now teamed up with the Quad Cities – Million Mask Challenge, a group committed to make one million facial coverings for the community.
Jamie Perez, a paralegal at LyondellBasell in Houston, Texas, started making facial coverings for her friends on the frontlines. With help from her 22-year-old son Fernando, Perez has made and distributed more than 300 facial coverings to her community. She even made one for her Amazon delivery person who was overcome with emotions by her kindness.
“I saw a tear fall from his eye and that’s what this is all about,” Perez said. “We are here to help each other.”
Employees at the company’s Houston Refinery, Victoria, TX, Tuscola, IL, North Kingsville, OH and Geneva, OH facilities also jumped into action to create facial coverings for their coworkers and neighbors. Rene Nowalk, a lab manager at the Houston Refinery, said she works hard to make facial coverings just to see her colleagues happy.
“I love to see pictures because I can see the smiles through their eyes and feel so satisfied,” Nowalk said.
LyondellBasell employees and their families have made over 2,000 facial coverings for each other and their communities. Our employees believe in being responsible, good neighbors. Through the power of many, they have demonstrated their commitment to making a difference and will continue to do so for many years to come.