Thyssenkrupp Bilstein, its employees and Hamilton Community Foundation partner to support local charities

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Jim Fogle, president of Thyssenkrupp Bilstein’s charitable committee, arranged for the company to adopt four families for Christmas through Adopt-A-Family in 2004. This started what has become a collective effort to give back to the community.

The company’s culture of giving back has evolved to include employees donating part of their paychecks to local charities through the Hamilton Community Foundation. Employee donations are matched by the German-based Thyssenkrupp, but Fogle said employees have outpaced the company in the past 10 years.

Some employees give $80 a month from their paycheck while others donate to be part of in-company raffles for anything from televisions to gift cards. Fogle said even though employees sign up for how much they donate, they might not understand what it does for the community.

“I don’t even think they realize how significant how much of an impact that makes,” he said.

Fogle said the employees are the reason the company is able to donate as much as they do. Employees donated more than ThyssenKrupp in multiple years because of an unexpected jump in people signing up for donations to be taken out of their paychecks.

When Bilstein started to offer donations the charitable committee coordinated with the Hamilton Community Foundation to ensure the funds were going to the best places. The relationship started in 2014 with a $20,00 contribution to the “Built 2 Give Back” fund.

The fund allows the company and foundation to combine resources to help multiple organizations. So far in 2024, the fund has contributed to 28 different organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Greater Hamilton Safety Council and women’s rights groups. Fogle said the foundation makes contributing easy for the company and ensures donations are given to organizations that need it.

“The Hamilton Community Foundation has been crucial to our success,” Fogle said. “They really put our name out there and helped us understand where the needs are. Essentially we don’t have to do much other than find the charity we want to support and tell them.”

In the nature of giving back, Bilstein implemented volunteer time off for its employees two years ago. This is a paid workday where employees can go donate their time to a charity of their choice. Currently, more than 100 of the 750 employees use the time.

“I want to continue to grow,” Fogle said. “I would like to get to the point where every employee is using their volunteer time off, I think that would be great.”

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