Williams Volunteer Week Supports Efforts of Regional Non-Profits

Williams employees (top, from left) Matt Boyle, Melissa Iddings, Katelyn Weibley, Lindsay Schmidt, Ashlee Gow, and Eddie Hartman enjoy some puppy cuddling time after cleaning out their enclosure at Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge and giving them all baths. A crew of volunteers from Williams that provided manpower recently at Hunts for Healing included (above, standing, from left) Dustin Bobowski, Josh Owens, Tyler White, Mark Ivey, Jamie Smith, Richie DiPhillips, John Pittenger and (seated) Ricky Davis and Alex Eastman. Putting their carpentry talents to work at Camp Freedom for Williams’ ‘Volunteer Week’ were Samantha Holl (below, left) and Mario Rombold.

The employees of Williams Companies from both the Towanda and Tunkhannock offices recently embarked on a week of volunteerism to provide manpower for projects at a variety of non-profit organizations in the area. Their efforts were part of a larger, national effort by Williams that involved 106 projects across 17 states.

Locally, Williams staff members committed more than 620 hours of on-site assistance at Camp Freedom in Carbondale, Animal Care Sanctuary (ACS) in East Smithfield, Patriots Cove in Noxen, Hunts for Healing in Laceyville, and Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge in Dallas.

We started our week volunteering for three veterans organizations,” Williams volunteer coordinator Tammy Bonnice noted of their endeavors. “By the end of the week, we were volunteering at local animal shelters. We have helped several of these organizations in the past, but we’ve added venues in other areas so all of our employees get a chance to participate.”

My passion is animals, so this is the third time I volunteered to come here,” said Melissa Iddings, as she mended fences in a horse corral at Blue Chip Farm with fellow employees Matt Boyle, Pat Cunningham, and Chris Eckman. “I think it’s a great thing that Williams lets us come and do this.”

They’ve been sending people here for at least the last five years,” Blue Chip Farm owner/founder Marge Bart related. “One of our regular volunteers works for Williams, so she always submits grant requests for us. And all of the labor they are doing for us saves us from having to hire someone to do it for us.”

We are honored to have Williams as a partner and are always glad to see their volunteers,” said Jamie Byrd, assistant executive director of Camp Freedom, where a team built shelters for sporting clay throwers to protect them from the elements. “This will allow disabled veterans, first responders, their families, and Gold Star families to enjoy an outdoor sporting clay shoot completely for free.”

At Patriots Cove, where veterans, first responders and other public servants – many dealing with PTSD – can enjoy fly fishing, trail walking, and support group retreats, Williams employees cleared trees on recently donated land and replaced weathered fascia boards on the Main Lodge.

I like how they provide adventures for veterans in the outdoors,” volunteer and avid fly fisher Ben Davenport, explained.

I’m an outdoors type of person, so this option suits me best,” said coworker Brad Higgins, who cited Patriots Cove co-founder Jeff Swire’s dedication to the facility and programming as a key motivating factor. “He’s very passionate about what goes on here. And it’s easy to volunteer for someone who’s so passionate.”

Workers spruced up the driveway at ACS, clearing brush and other overgrowth. Last year, ACS volunteer coordinator Kristy Fisher noted, employees cleared walking trails around the facility. “We know when they come that they are willing to do some major projects and interact with our animals,” Fisher stated. “Since we are a non-profit, we do not have the funds nor manpower to tackle these types of jobs often.”

Williams employees and management, credit each other for fostering a commitment to giving back to the communities in which they live and work. “Our employees look forward to this and other ways to provide assistance to organizations with which they are already familiar,” Bonnice related. “And others enjoy the opportunity to engage with organizations of which they may previously have never been aware.”

The assistance that we receive from companies like Williams and the support provided to us by the local community is amazing,” said Peter Hatton of Hunts for Healing, which focuses on peer support and hunting opportunities for veterans at Ringneck Ridge. “Their employees regularly volunteer labor to assist us with our events and help us set up and tear down equipment.” During their recent visit, a large group descended on the facility to paint hunting blinds, doors, porches and wheelchair ramps.

Mending fences in the horse pasture at Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge near Dallas recently were Williams employees (from left) Chris Eckman, Matt Boyle, Pat Cunningham, and Melissa Iddings.

Josh Owens (foreground) and John Pittenger put a fresh coat of paint on ramps at Hunts for Healing.

Williams employees (from left) Ben Pippenger, Alisha Polzella, and Tammy Bennett didn’t mind the dirty work of cleaning out a storage shed full of animal carriers and crates at Blue Chip Farm during their recent ‘Volunteer Week.’

Helping with the painting of ramps at Hunts for Healing at Ringneck Ridge were Jamie Smith (foreground) and Tyler White.

Weeding and mulching landscape beds at Blue Chip Farm were (from left) Samantha Hadlock, Megan Karhnak, Carlene Starkey, and Amanda VanTyle.

Management and staff at Animal Care Sanctuary in East Smithfield were thankful for the help they received clearing brush back from their entry road from Williams employees (from left) Brent Sparling, George Loomis, and Tony Griffore.

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