GAF is committed to building more resilient communities in the areas where we live and work. Working with our network of manufacturing communities, we can leverage our expertise, resources, and products to help protect the places we call home. Our local teams lend their time and talents to address the unique needs of each community, as we help support the fundamental needs of shelter, families and workforces.
In the GAF hometown of Myerstown, PA, there is a committed team of employees who have been hard at work in support of this mission. Lisa Sensenig, Site Materials Manager, has taken a special interest in the GAF Community Matters initiative, and has taken on a leadership role at the plant, encouraging the team to prioritize efforts that give back to the Myerstown community. Together with Myerstown Operations Manager, Kyle Mcgrady, they have encouraged their team to kick their commitment into high gear. "Myerstown is our home. Our plant has succeeded these many years because of the community and people of Lebanon County. It just makes sense to focus our efforts, with our Community Matters program, by giving back to the place that means so much to us." says Kyle.
Rather than wait for involvement opportunities to come to them, the duo proactively reaches out to groups in the community, including organizations their team members are involved in, as well as local schools and parks. Within the past year, the Myerstown employees have helped rebuild the Red Creek Wildlife Center after a devastating fire, donated both time and money to the local FRESH Start Shelter, sponsored and participated in the twice-yearly Girls on the Run 5k, and even worked with local authorities to bolster the community's catastrophe response plan.
The Myerstown team feels they're getting just as much out of it as the organizations they partner with. As the team says, "Giving back to the community that has afforded our people so many opportunities, is the right thing to do, and makes us feel great."
Disaster Recovery Efforts
On December 5, 2022, a devastating fire damaged the local wildlife rehabilitation center, Red Creek Wildlife Center, resulting in the tragic loss of their clinical facility and the lives of over 40 beloved animals. When Lisa saw a story on Facebook about the damage, she knew they needed to do something to help. She reached out to the Community Matters team and within the day, GAF committed to donating the roof to rebuild and expand the facility in partnership with Bachman's Roofing, Solar, & Remodeling.
Through donations to the local shelter, our GAF team in Myerstown is helping feed, clothe, and provide shelter for the people of Lebanon County through the LCCM shelter's Free Noon Meals program, which serves more than 150 individuals each day. Their donations also contribute to the FRESH Start Shelter, and the team also volunteers their time to support the food pantry and meal program.
Empowering Future Leaders
Members of the Myerstown team had previously worked with the Girls on the Run of Lancaster County organization, so they reached out to their local program's director to see if there were any needs they could meet – landing on a sponsorship at their twice-yearly 5K celebration. In May, members of our Myerstown team volunteered onsite at the event cheering on more than 2,500 runners and 380 coaches from the GAF "cheer zone" as they crossed the finish line. GAF's very own Maintenance Manager, Brian Dewald, even ran in the event, donning his GAF Community Matters shirt, alongside his daughter.
Building a Safer Community
Our Myerstown plant is situated just two minutes from one of the local schools, so the Myerstown team sat down with the school's superintendent and asked, "What is your greatest need right now?" As it turns out, safety – something core to who we are at GAF – was an area where they felt they were lacking. If a catastrophe were to happen in the area, the schools would serve as emergency shelters for the whole community, but they didn't have the supplies they would need if this were to happen. The Myerstown team donated funding for safety materials, such as first aid kits, traffic cones, safety vests, and two-way radios, preparing them for any potential hazards. They also collaborated with the local police department and fire company to develop an All Hazard Safety Plan for the five schools in the district.
While the Myerstown team is committed to their community, they know they can't do it on their own. Lisa says, "We have such a great support system." To learn more about GAF's Community Matters initiative and the impact on our local communities, click here.