Novelis Employees Share Joys of Volunteering and Supporting Atlanta RMHC
Its conference rooms may be where Novelis’ corporate responsibility is preached, but Atlanta Ronald McDonald House families can attest that this is where those ambitions are practiced.
For years, the Atlanta-based global industrial aluminum company has been an unflinching corporate champion of the House’s mission. Novelis employees rotate via a robust meals program to feed families twice a month, and the organization commits to annually sponsoring both the Hearts and Hands Gala as well as the full expenses of a guest room’s upkeep through the Adopt-a-Room program.
Employees Marco Palmieri and Mary Stockstill are proud of their company and colleagues’ commitment. Both also emphasize how valuable the experience has been for teambuilding and bonding with coworkers.
“I am grateful to have met many of the families staying at the House and hear from them how meaningful it is to have a place to stay during a difficult time,” says Palmieri, Senior Vice President and President of Novelis, North America.
Atlanta Ronald McDonald House’s mission holds a special place in Palmieri’s heart. As a child, he dealt with an eye disorder that required travel for treatment away from his home in Brazil to a facility where he stayed for three days a month. Though he had relatives to stay with, he recognizes the gap the House fills for families who would otherwise have to find other arrangements.
Palmieri’s first experience with Atlanta Ronald McDonald House came in 2013 when he attended the Hearts and Hands Gala, sponsored by Novelis. Since then, he and his wife, Danila, have increased their personal support and are part of the company’s more than 130 volunteers who help cook and serve meals at the Peachtree Dunwoody House twice monthly.
“I am inspired by our Novelis employees for the service they provide every month by donating and cooking meals,” Palmieri says, who specifically praises Stockstill’s efforts for not just launching the meals initiative at Novelis but also nurturing it into the dynamic program it is today.
“I was blown away by the response of my colleagues,” says Stockstill, a finance specialist for Novelis’ North America. She adds that the volunteer base quickly grew when associates wanted their families to participate. “It definitely builds teamwork, and I really enjoy serving with associates I may never come in contact with during a normal workday.”
These days the program is so well coordinated that families often enjoy themed dinners, like Italian and baseball cookout fare. Stockstill points to consistent internal communication for keeping colleagues motivated. She always takes pictures then shares them along with short stories in office emails after dinners, she explains.
“Learning their stories and knowing that our meal made their day easier is the motivation I need to ensure that we continue,” Stockstill says. “I have seen the faces of the families light up when they walk in from a long day of therapy and testing to see a home-cooked meal waiting for them, and I’ve had many tell me how relieved they were to know that they didn’t have to buy fast food or cafeteria meals when they are dealing with so many health-related bills.”