Andersen Corporation Responds to the Community During COVID-19 Pandemic
Designing and manufacturing PPE for frontline community workers
As the global COVID-19 pandemic grows, Andersen’s Research, Development and Innovation team has added a new focus: designing, developing and manufacturing critical PPE (personal protective equipment) to support frontline workers’ efforts to fight the virus in our communities. This is one of many ways Andersen and its employees are stepping up to help the communities and individuals impacted by the global pandemic.
Andersen will donate over 50,000 face shields to help protect health-care professionals and first responders working on the frontlines. The company is also providing 100,000 face shield components which will be donated to organizations that require critical parts to complete their face shield designs.
“In times of adversity, the people who work at Andersen rise to the occasion. It’s a value woven into the DNA of our company as evidenced as far back as World War II when workers produced wooden ammunition boxes to aid the war effort,” said Brandon Berg, senior vice president, research, development and innovation at Andersen.
With input from local health-care providers including Health Partners, Mayo Clinic and the State of Minnesota, Andersen engineers worked to ensure safety and comfort in the face shield designs. With equipment and materials from Stratasys, Plastic Products Co., Diamond Lake Tool Inc., Nott Company and Rogers Foam Corporation, Andersen utilized the company’s 3D printing and injection molding capabilities to create the final face shield design.
To date, Andersen’s PPE products have been donated to organizations including:
With headquarters in Bayport, Minn., Andersen has long partnered with local first responders.
Employee Mike Galowitz, a senior HR systems analyst, currently volunteers as the assistant chief of Bayport Fire Department. Recently, Andersen’s engineers joined Galowitz to hand off a donation of face shields. The face shields will be used by first responders during advanced lifesaving efforts when interacting with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patient.
“Andersen is so much more than windows,” Galowitz said. “It’s an honor to work for such a great company that has supported Bayport Fire Department for 100-plus years. Thank you!”
In addition to the donations, more than 10,000 face shields and components have been distributed to Andersen employees across the company’s manufacturing and operations sites as an alternative option to cloth face coverings.
Supporting ConnectedMN to bring tech, internet to Minnesota students
Andersen joins other philanthropic and business leaders from across Minnesota to support ConnectedMN. Announced June 30 by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the public-private partnership aims to bridge the digital divide by supplying tech devices and internet access to students across the state.
The Minnesota Department of Education estimates that at least 25,000 Minnesota students lack the technology and high-speed internet access essential for academic learning, out-of-school activities and critical services such as telehealth. In the wake of COVID-19, economic stress and recent civil injustices, ConnectedMN’s goal is help communities most in need, including Indigenous students and students of color, students from low-income families, and families residing in rural Minnesota.
“I’m grateful to see Minnesota companies step up and help us meet the needs of students,” Walz said. “We need to work together — as individuals, state agencies, private companies and schools — to face the opportunity gap and make sure that Minnesota is the best state for each and every child to grow up and receive the best education possible.”
Business and philanthropic leaders have collectively raised $1.65 million so far to enhance what will be available through the state, including a $100,000 donation from the Andersen Corporate Foundation.
Donating funds to support COVID-19 response efforts
Giving back has always been a long-held value at Andersen. In good times and in hard times, our company, our employees, our corporate foundation and the Andersen family have made supporting the communities where our employees live and work a priority.
As our nation responds to the human health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus, the Andersen Corporate Foundation is joining efforts to help organizations that keep our neighbors healthy and safe.
“The speed and severity with which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our communities is putting unprecedented pressure on our health-care systems, as well as basic human services including food and housing,” said Karen Richard, senior vice president and chief human resources officer. Karen also serves as president of the board of directors for the Andersen Corporate Foundation and volunteers her time as member of the board of directors for Greater Twin Cities United Way.
“Now, more than ever, our communities need our help and we can be proud of Andersen’s philanthropic efforts to support organizations providing critical services to vulnerable people who are struggling during this difficult time,” Richard continued.
To date, the Andersen Corporate Foundation has donated $500,000 to support COVID-19 response efforts in our communities. These grants will help support immediate needs faced by health-care workers and patients, as well as basic needs for some of the most vulnerable populations in communities where Andersen employees live and work across the country.
Food for families
The Andersen Corporate Foundation donated $125,000 to support 30 food shelves in communities where Andersen operates manufacturing, distribution and Renewal by Andersen company owned retail operations. Food shelves are facing unprecedented levels of need due to the economic impact of COVID-19 as more people are finding themselves out of work or with reduced work hours. Our support will help these food shelves continue to provide essential food supplies to individuals and families in Andersen communities.
Expanding health-care services and supporting frontline medical workers
Telemedicine has become increasingly critical in the face of an infectious disease outbreak. A donation of $100,000 to Regions Hospital Foundation will support HealthPartners’ telemedicine program, providing funding for critical technology for the largest health-care system serving the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin. Telemedicine provides the right care at the right time, ensures the safety of patients and staff, reduces the use of personal protective equipment, and allows patients to visit safely with family and friends.
To aid those working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, $25,000 will be distributed to funds providing support services to medical workers and first responders.
Affordable and safe housing
Housing and homelessness relief organizations across Minnesota will benefit from $100,000 directed to the Heading Home MN Funders Collaborative COVID-19 Response Fund. Housing service organizations and shelters are facing a tremendous increase in demand due to the economic impact of the COVID-19, along with increased costs to support social distancing and sanitization/hygiene needs within congregate shelters. This fund has already supplied funding to 37 area emergency shelters.
Basic needs for our neighbors
The St. Croix Valley Foundation, serving communities on both sides of the St. Croix River, received a donation of $50,000 for its COVID-19 Response Fund which directs funding to nonprofits responding to immediate basic needs of people in the St. Croix Valley. This fund is a partnership between the St. Croix Valley Foundation, United Way St. Croix Valley and United Way Washington County East. Nonprofits that have already received funding include many of the long-standing community organizations our foundation has funded for decades, including: Canvas Health, FamilyMeans and Youth Service Bureau, among others.
The Greater Twin Cities United Way received $100,000 for its COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund which will provide immediate support to those in need across the Twin Cities metro area. Funds will be distributed to nonprofits providing basic needs services including food, shelter, childcare and financial assistance. Already, this fund has distributed more than $500,000 to 75 nonprofits and provided over 20,000 referrals to individuals seeking resources through the 211 call-in service. The Andersen Corporate Foundation donation served as a matching fund, generating additional donations for the fund.
“Because of the generosity of Andersen Corporate Foundation, United Way is able to provide emergency funding to local nonprofits to support those most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19,” said John Wilgers, president and CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way. “Thank you for your commitment to our community and for your partnership during this time. We couldn’t do this important work without you.”
About the Andersen Corporate Foundation
The Andersen Corporate Foundation was established in 1941 with the mission to improve lives and strengthen communities, primarily where Andersen employees live and work. Since then, the foundation has donated more than $60 million to worthy causes. The foundation is an endowed fund that is a separate legal entity from the company.
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