Posts Tagged ‘Timberland CSR’

The Kindergarten of Stella International Ltd.

In another report from our Code of Conduct team, we learn about the work being done by one of Timberland’s longtime footwear vendors in China to support its community of employees and their families:

In order to better meet the educational needs of their employees’ children, Stella Group opened their first on-site kindergarten in 2000. After great initial success and enthusiasm from employees, Stella opened two more kindergartens shortly after.  Today, Stella Group’s 3 kindergartens are staffed by 17 professional teachers and serve more than 270 employees’ children.

Compared with other kindergarten options, Stella’s kindergarten is less costly and more convenient for employees.  The children enjoy studying and playing, and are learning life skills and educational basics, as well as etiquette.

Stella’s students showing off their accomplishments

The kindergarten holds many special events and activities, including Festival Day and Children’s Day, and Stella’s management participates in the activities with children.  Each year Stella hosts a “how to educate the children” program, and this year invited a professional teacher from Taiwan to train the kindergarten’s teachers and children’s parents. 120 teachers and parents participated in this training, which included a rich discussion with the professional teacher about the excellent education methods she has learned from her years of experience.

All dressed up for Children’s Day festivities!

We’re proud to work with companies like Stella that recognize the importance of early education and are committed to supporting it.  Well done, Stella!

Boots on the Ground in NYC

Some might call this winter’s weather memorable … others might consider it challenging.  But imagine how difficult you might find cold, wet, snowy weather if you had no way to adequately protect yourself from it.

Timberland recently donated 200 pairs of boots to the Streetwork Project, a program committed to helping homeless youth in New York City.  In addition to offering its clients hot meals, emergency housing and clothing, the Streetwork Project also supports equally critical, longer-term needs with services like free legal and medical care, GED preparation and individual counseling.

Compared to all that Streetwork offers, a couple hundred pairs of boots didn’t feel like much … but in return for our donation, we received the following letter:

I wanted to let you know that in all this bad weather what a true gift the boots you donated have been. This couldn’t have been more timely as this has been one of the worst winters on record, and the homeless youth population we help is the largest we have experienced.

The boots really made a difference and especially came in handy on the day of the big snowstorm at the end of December.  We were open that Monday and had over 40 youth who visited the drop-in to get some respite from the storm’s aftermath.  Several young people arrived with their feet soaking wet because they did not have appropriate footwear for the weather. They were able to leave our program knowing that at the very least their feet would be dry and warm, thanks to Timberland.   One young man in particular was wearing boots whose soles were completely worn out but was very shy about asking for help.  One of our staff noticed the condition of his boots and offered him a pair of Timberland boots.  The young man was very grateful for the boots and ecstatic that all of you at Timberland cared enough to do this for him.

Another young woman came in that day with some thin canvas sneakers completely soaked through.  She is a young woman who was trafficked to the U.S. from another country and has not faced weather like this before.  We were able to provide her with a pair of Timberland boots and she too was very grateful and amazed that there are people who care and want to help.

Without these boots, the almost 200 youth you have helped would be exposed to the elements and facing serious health issues.  This has helped spread the word that not only does Timberland care, but that you believe in our program.  Thank you so very much from all of our staff at Streetwork and from the youth you have helped through this difficult winter.

We’re grateful to the staff at Streetwork for their dedication to helping homeless youth in New York … and honored to be able to support them and their clients.

To learn more or make a donation to Streetwork, please visit their website.

Timberland COC Team Engages in Southeast India Service

Timberland’s Code of Conduct coordinator Ann Caron shared this report from the Code of Conduct Summit we recently held in India:

Timberland’s annual Code of Conduct (COC) Summit, held in India in January, expanded its scope this year to include licensee representatives from CWF and Sperian, sourcing representatives from Timberland’s International Design Center in London, and members of the management teams of Matrix Clothing, Farida Shoes, Eastman Apparel, Birdy Apparel, Pou Yuen, and Li & Fung.  This 40+ person group gathered in Bangalore, Ambur, and Chennai, to engage in 8 days of learning, collaborating, and networking to strengthen our knowledge base and passion for Timberland’s Code of Conduct and environmental values.

Of course, no Timberland gathering would be complete without at least a few hours of community service.  On day 4, the group traveled to Farida for a tour of two of their facilities.  We were welcomed with warmth and hospitality, and were able to see Timberland shoes being produced in front of us.  After our tour, we traveled to Farida’s medical facility, where they offer healthcare to their workforce and the community.  When we reached the clinic, we were greeted by a dry, barren landscape, and a pile of sod, several trees, and a small mountain of soil.

We quickly donned our personal protective equipment, grabbed our tools and got to work.  We spread the pile of soil into the back yard of the clinic – no fancy bobcats or tractors, we formed an assembly line and passed shallow bowls of soil from the front to the back.

Then we laid out sod — not in rolls, but in square foot pieces — over the newly spread soil, transforming the barren soil into a lush, green carpet.  We finished by planting trees in the front and back yards to someday provide shade for the patients seeking medical care.

During this time, we created quite a stir among the community.  Passersby stopped to watch us, and even pitch in.  Children watched and cheered us on, and even joined us for a few photo opportunities.  There were even a few cows in residence.

The participants were asked to reflect on their service experience.  Here are some of the things they shared:

“First of all, my quick thinking is why are we not using more effective tools to move that pile of mud away to the garden?  Then fantastic things happened when my body turned right and turned left quickly – I saw that rhythm of life, the love people who want to give and the happiness of working hard together.  While the mud land was being changed to be green, that motivated and excited me.  Yes, do the right thing and make things better.  This is my first service event this year, and my first in India.  Thanks for inviting me to join.”

“Community service does not have a face, color, nationality, religious or political belief attached to it.  I was someone from another country trying to create a better living environment for people that I did not know and that I will probably never meet or see.”

“I was inspired very much by the way you all were dedicated and involved until the completion and the way you all moved with me, really I am honored.  I have a feeling that we all belong to one family.  All I can give you back is only thanks, thanks, and thank you all so much.”

“I loved that there were local kids present and asking questions.  It was great to tell them what we were doing and have them interested in service in the future.  One wanted to join us.  I felt it was a great multi-member group – COC, factory, IDC, and locals, and that showed what can be done when there is one main goal.  We were fast!”

“Together, we made it better.”

The Farida team, who already serves its community on a regular basis, was thrilled with the quick transformation of the clinic’s grounds and was inspired by the team’s “Pull on your boots and make a difference” spirit.  The COC team was exhausted, but at the same time energized and inspired by the impact we created in such a short time.

Just another example of how a small group of committed citizens can make a difference.