In March, 2017 the leadership team for the Roofing Systems bituminous plant in South Gate, CA, discussed during a staff meeting what they could do to support their local community, local authorities, or even the military. They came to an agreement that they would participate in the efforts of a local charity to support the military overseas. Service Specialist, Lucy Fausto, conducted a little research and found an organization called Operation Gratitude which is an organization that is focused on saying “Thank You” to all who serve in our military. [There are several ways to donate to the organization, including monetary donations and care packages.] Care package items requested were: food, entertainment, handmade items, travel size toiletries, socks, single serve drink mix packets, sunscreen, and batteries. The team not only donated over 400 care package items but added to their donation efforts by making paracord “survival” bracelets, a tool with several uses.
The meaning behind the paracord “survival” bracelets really caught the group’s attention. These bracelets are made from paracord (parachute rope), 7.5 feet in length, and when made into a bracelet are worn by our soldiers or easily stored in their pocket. The bracelets can be quickly unwound and used immediately for life-saving situations. The cords can be used as slings, nets, traps, splints, and can even be used as harnesses to extract injured people. The nylon cords inside the paracord can be used as sewing thread to stitch wounds or repair gear, tripwire, fishing line, and in many other ways. The plant purchased over 2,000 feet of paracord in black and dark green and began making the bracelets. For quick assembly, the quality lab team set up a tool to measure, cut, and seal each length of cord. The team’s original goal was to make 250 bracelets by the end of May. They have exceeded this goal by more than 200% coming in at a final count of 527 bracelets. This effort was not limited to plant employees only; family members even pitched in to make a few bracelets as employees brought the paracord home to share. Plant visitors also got involved with traveling JM employees as well as customers adding to the pile while they participated in the Open Roof Week event in May.