By Jonathan McNamara
FRANKLINTON — Biotech company Novozymes and the United Way of Franklin County teamed up Sept. 28 for their annual day of caring.
More than 30 employees and family members converged on Willie Perry’s property to build a wheelchair accessible ramp, take care of his yard and haul trash and debris to a landfill.
Perry, a resident of Franklinton and retiree of Franklin Veneers, suffers from severe cartilage deterioration in his knees. This prevents Perry from using the steps at his front and back doors and being able to routinely get out for fresh air and yard work.
“We have had a strong partnership with United Way for a long time and partner with them in several other projects for our community,” said Kevin Potter, a Novozymes employee who has been on the UWFC board for seven years.
Perry was chosen through an application process provided by the United Way.
Novozymes and UWFC sort through the applications and choose individuals that can be best helped through a combination of talents the Novozymes volunteers can provide.
The United Way budgets the funding for the supplies and the Novozymes Environmental Awareness Team (NEAT) is in charge of separating the trash from recyclables and yard work.
They also partner for a backpack donation drive held prior to the start of the school year.
A total of 850 backpacks were donated to Franklin County Schools. Of that, 150 of the backpacks came from the employees of Novozymes.
Randy Green, an employee of Novozymes who oversaw the construction, said the cost for the wheelchair ramp with supplies is roughly $600.
The United Way depends on community support and donations at events like the local food plate sale, spelling bee, siren-3 cook-off and cow chip contest, jail-a-thon and the fall community drive.
“We have pride as one of the bigger companies in the county, said Novozymes Health Services Administrator Kay Crowder, RN. “We want to give back to our community — this energizes our employees and we have a lot of dedicated employees that volunteer every year.”
For more information on United Way or to donate, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Director Kathy Harrelson at 919-496-0937.