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Bringing joy to children and food to the needy

Dematic employees in Mexico and the US are giving back to society.


Two countries, one company and a single goal: Dematic employees in the US city of Salt Lake City and in Monterrey, Mexico have been volunteering in their communities.

Brian’s eyes light up as he tears open the package given to him by a Dematic employee. He’ll make good use of the tennis shoes and the new pair of jeans. 'Imperio de Amor' - Empire of Love - is a sexy name for a simple set-up with plastic chairs, tiled flooring and a large piece of hand-painted graffiti adorning the concrete football pitch. The Dematic employees must first take their bus along a somewhat perilous road strewn with deep potholes to deliver their specially selected gifts in person. But Imperio de Amor is a place of refuge for children from Juarez in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey. Here, the youngsters, aged 4-7, receive three meals a day, help with their homework and some much-needed attention. These are things their parents and grandparents are unable to give them due to violence or drug abuse within the family, poverty or simply because they are unable to cope with the situation.

Spending time and giving affection

Dematic's new production facility in Monterrey, with its air-conditioned offices, high-spec computers and elegantly designed courtyard, is not far from Imperio de Amor, yet the two places are worlds apart. As is so often the case in Mexico, the contrasts are stark here. However, today the employees want to put smiles on the faces of the 75 children by bringing them presents. Veronica Muñoz, who works as an HR coordinator at Dematic Monterrey, has spent weeks overseeing the collection, making sure that each child gets new clothing or shoes in the correct size.

The colorfully wrapped packages marked with the children’s names are piled up in her office. Her colleagues who can spare some time accompany her to Imperio de Amor, where they hand over the gifts and spend the rest of the afternoon with the children.

Making a difference and sharing precious moments

Eduardo Domingo, the director at Imperio de Amor, couldn’t be happier about the generous visitors. “We never have enough of what we need. When Dematic arrives on site, it’s like a prayer has been answered,” says the quiet man with the shaved head, and whom the children call "Lalo".

“I like our initiative because it really comes from the heart,” says Jeffrey Trevino from Dematic, who is visiting for the second time. He bought tennis shoes for a 13-year-old girl, who timidly accepts the gift. “Giving her just a little bit of what I have is very easy for me. It’s not much, but these children need love.”

And the children are keen to show their gratitude. They gather together to sing a short serenade accompanied by Lalo’s guitar before running around the room, chirping, “Gracias”, “muchas gracias”, and throwing their arms around the first person they see. One girl presses a handwritten note into Sandra Leyva’s hand, where she has scrawled, “We love you. Thank you for everything that all of you at Dematic have done for us. God bless you”. Leyva is visibly touched and has to quickly wipe away a tear.

“Strong working relationships are the engine that drives us, Dematic employees, to get involved in the community where we work,” she says later. “It doesn’t matter where we do our volunteering, it’s the positive impact that is important for us.”

"We never have enough of what we need. When Dematic arrives on site, it’s like a prayer has been answered."

Eduardo Domingo

Supporting the food bank as a team

Her Dematic colleagues 2,500 kilometers further north, in Salt Lake City in the US state of Utah, couldn’t agree more. Why else would they crawl out of bed at 6 am on a Saturday morning to travel to a warehouse and pack cans into cardboard boxes? It all comes down to the US tradition of ‘giving back to society’, helping those who are worse off or going through a tough time in their lives. This is the explanation offered by Eliza Borysiuk, an administrative assistant at Dematic in Salt Lake City, who has organized her colleagues’ donations for the Utah Food Bank: “Volunteering has become a big part of my life, and I wanted it to become part of my work life as well. It’s exciting and it’s fun working together to do our bit.” Both the HR department and plant manager, Don Davis, haven given her their full backing.

"It’s exciting and it’s fun working together to do our bit."

Eliza Borysiuk

Doing good with canned foods and blankets

The Dematic employees in Salt Lake City have proven to be just as generous as their colleagues in Mexico. It wasn’t long before the warehouse aisles were piled up with jars of peanut butter, pasta, readymade meals and canned foods for the food bank as well as blankets, diapers, warm coats and socks in all sizes for the Road Home homeless charity, which Dematic also supports. There were so many donations that they had to be loaded into the multiple rental trucks using handcarts.

But the volunteering doesn’t end with donations. Eliza, manager Don and a dozen other Dematic colleagues are spending their Saturday morning on a conveyor line, packing cardboard boxes with cans of pasta, vegetables and fruit as well as boxes of breakfast cereals and juice. Each individual is responsible for one type of food. The food bank project, "Community Supplement Food Program" (CSFP) ensures that its packages are delivered in person to people who are too ill, weak or old to collect the food items for themselves.

Everyone gets stuck in to help others

Eliza Borysiuk and her colleagues are happy to do so.

Help for people in the neighborhood

The Utah Food Bank is the biggest in this Mormon-majority state and delivers to more than 140 partner organizations. When volunteer coordinator Mahina Jones turns the music up loud, it’s clear to see how much fun the volunteers are having with their packing. The boxes roll from hand to hand along the conveyor belt and everyone is in a good mood. After two hours, 15 pallets have been emptied, 500 packages have been filled and Mahina Jones is satisfied. “We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without our volunteers. Last year, they worked enough hours to have substituted for 40 permanent members of staff,” says Jones. “That’s 40 salaries we didn’t have to pay, and the money that was saved was used to buy more provisions for the food bank.”

At the end of his shift, Dematic manager Don says: “So many bad things are happening at the moment, all over the world – earthquakes and hurricanes and mass shootings. But in our own backyard there are people who are hungry and who need warm clothing and food.”

"But even in our own backyard there are people who are hungry and who need warm clothing and food."

Don Davis


Bringing hope to children and food to the needy


It is good to give – both for the recipient and the giver.


The many toys are wrapped carefully. This takes time, but it is time that Veronica Muñoz is happy to give.


The children are delighted to receive the presents, but the attention they get is just as important.


Initiatives like the one by the Dematic employees bring people together and strengthen the bonds in society. Highly motivating and priceless, says Sandra Leyva Martinez.


The donated goods are packed and shipped in boxes.


Food is urgently needed. The boxes are delivered to those in need who are unable to collect donations due to their age or ill health.


It is only a few hours of their time, but for the children and the needy – and for the Dematic employees – these initiatives mean a lot.