The project was part of an annual public service “giving back” effort for employees at Cristal’s Plant 1, according to Chris Morrison, a technical trainer at Cristal who helped with the G.O. Ministries job.
“This is our way of giving back to the community,” Morrison said. “We do it every year. We partnered with G.O. Ministries because it’s such a worthwhile cause. They do so much for the community and it’s all run completely on donations.”
Over the week prior to Sept. 16, Cristal employees installed new LED light fixtures and ceiling tiles in two of the work spaces at the former Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, repaired a large exhaust fan and the dishwasher in the building’s kitchen and replaced a drinking fountain in the gymnasium.
On Saturday, employees turned out in the morning to spend the day scrubbing tiles and painting the building’s interior and doors.
“It’s fantastic what these people have done here today and in the last week,” G.O. Civic Development Corporation President Drew Thomas said. “The LED lighting and what they’ve done today is really going to help our dollars go a lot farther. A big building like this is always going to need some kind of maintenance. We’re really fortunate to have a company like Cristal that takes pride in their community to help out like this.”
Employees and families at Cristal also conducted a month-long food and clothing drive, delivering seven truckloads of nonperishable food items, clothing and shoes for G.O. Ministries.
G.O. Ministries operates a food pantry, serves free meals to area residents, teaches computer literacy, hosts a library, operates a clothing bank and holds after school activities for local youth. The building also serves as home to Helping Independent Parents (HIP), an assistance program for new parents in need of necessities for infants, as well as Birthcare of Ashtabula County, a nonprofit providing information and support as well as assitance with baby items such as diapers, formula, clothing, baby furniture and other necessities for new parents.
Thomas said between 100 and 150 people pass through the doors at G.O. Ministries every day and Cristal’s efforts have helped the organization toward meeting its mission goals immensely.
“What they’re doing today is going to help families put food on their plate,” Thomas said. “The facility does some great things, it’s in a great location to do it and because of people like Cristal who come out and help is why we’re successful.”
Pictured are Quinn Van Arsdale (left) and her sister Hannah Van Arsdale (right), two of 56 employees and family members from Cristal Global who took part in a cleanup and repair project at G.O. Ministries on Saturday, Sept. 16. Volunteers conducted repairs, cleaned and painted the building as well as making a delivery of seven truckloads of food, clothing and shoes to the Ashtabula nonprofit social service ministry.