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COVID-19 response shows heart & desire to help

One associate shares that "crisis reveals character," which can be seen in Shaw's response to COVID-19.

Curtis W. Callaway

Communications Director

One man’s opinion: I personally believe that Shaw is a company with heart. Yes, a long-term, sustainable and successful business is our first priority. But Shaw’s actions to support the communities where our people live and work demonstrate that giving back is a vital part of who we are as a company. I’ve witnessed this, over and over again, when there is a critical need." 

I’ve seen truckloads of water shipped to aid areas devastated by hurricanes. When tornados landed near our headquarters and destroyed associates’ homes, Shaw was there with an emergency assistance program to help with financial assistance. After the tragic public shootings in Chattanooga and Charleston in 2015, Shaw provided free flooring to help organizations rebuild. And I can’t leave out the annual campaigns for United Way and the company’s support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which are a part of our cultural DNA.

So it comes as no surprise to me that during this time of uncertainty and fear surrounding COVID-19, that Shaw is once again active in giving back to the community, even when faced with a challenging business climate. Shaw and its associates are currently supporting the local community by:

  • Donating 1,000 N95 masks to a local hospital;

  • Connecting medical facilities with Shaw suppliers for more rapid access to needed supplies. This allows them to tap into a different supply chain than normal where their typical supplies are strained to meet growing needs;

  • Donating 100 Chromebook tablets to local school systems to provide remote sessions for speech and occupational therapy for students in need of devices;

  • Providing meals from local restaurants for healthcare workers in Northwest Georgia hospitals;

  • Producing face shields for local hospitals. Using the 3D printers at the Shaw Innovation Center & MakerSpace in Dalton, associates have created more than 1,500 face shields that the company donated to the local medical community.

Beyond these donations at the corporate level, we’ve seen individuals step up and help in interesting ways. One coworker, while working remotely in New York, learned about the face shield initiative, and began 3D printing on her own using the designs from the MakerSpace. She began working with others in her community and has since produced several hundred additional face shields. 

I don’t know how long we’ll be working remotely from home or wearing a mask when we buy groceries. As community needs continue to evolve, I look forward to seeing what else we decide to do as a company. What passion project will a coworker bring to light that rallies others? How can we pivot to address an urgent need? Time will tell, but I’m sure that Shaw isn’t done yet. If a global manufacturing company can have a “heart,” I think Shaw’s beats loudly. It’s one of the many reasons why I love working here!

Medical workers receive a donation of N95 masks.

Associates work on a Sunday to ship flooring for a makeshift hospital in White Plains, NY.

3D printers at the MakerSpace fabricate face shields for medical workers.