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BASF ECMS groups leads effort to help local Veteran

GSA Biz Wire //February 23, 2024//

BASF ECMS groups leads effort to help local Veteran

GSA Biz Wire //February 23, 2024//

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When a U.S. Army veteran needed help building a ramp for his 80-year-old mother, who is the daughter of a World War II veteran, a group of community veterans answered the call last weekend.

Volunteers led by a team from BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions (ECMS) in Seneca spent the past weekend sawing, drilling, and nailing wood to build a wheelchair ramp for a local veteran.

James Brown is a veteran of the U.S. Army as well as a retired security guard who worked at the BASF ECMS plant in Seneca. His mother, Martha, recently left a hospital in Tennessee, and was unable to live on her own. The best decision for them was for her to move into the home he shares with his wife, Debbie, who is an Air Force veteran, in Fair Play.

However, 11 steps leading into the home became a predicament. Brown needed a ramp for his mother, and looked for help on the project.

One of his former coworkers put him in touch with the Seneca Veterans Employee Team (VETS) at BASF ECMS. At BASF ECMS, employee resource groups (ERGs) are created to bring together workers with similar interests and backgrounds. They foster a sense of community and help employees develop personally and professionally. The VETS in Seneca provides a community for employees who share an interest in serving and connecting with veterans, both internally and externally. VETS averages 750 community volunteer hours annually.

“VETS is one of the key groups at our site when it comes to bringing together our employees with the community around us,” said Elba Lizardi, Site Director, in Seneca. “They provide an amazing service.”

The Seneca VETS have done numerous projects in the past few years with the Purple Heart Homes Golden Corner Chapter, which is the local chapter of the National Purple Heart Homes Organization. This organization helps fill the gaps in housing through the Veterans’ Aging In Place and Veterans Home Ownership Programs. In addition, the Lewis G. Watkins Marine Corps League Detachment #1131 stepped forward to pay for materials, which cost $1,550.

“We understand the sacrifice that many men and women from our community made when serving the Armed Forces,” said Larry Druffel, a member of Purple Heart Homes. “With the help of groups such as BASF VETS, we can all make a difference together.”

“We were honored to participate in this build with BASF ECMS VETS and Purple Heart Homes,” said Todd Alexander, Commandant, Lewis G. Watkins Marine Corps League. “Building projects like this aren’t just about accessibility; they’re about showing our gratitude and support in a tangible way.”