Lipton volunteers at humane society

Published 10:11 pm Friday, July 21, 2017

About a dozen employees from Unilever Lipton spent Friday helping the Suffolk Humane Society prepare its new office building for the planned move-in about a month from now.

The Lipton employees were at the office at 412 Kings Fork Road most of the day. Their help was part of Community Action Month, being celebrated at Unilever campuses across the United States.

“A major goal within the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is to enhance the livelihoods of millions of people as we grow our business,” said Katie Ingersoll, factory director at the Lipton facility on West Washington Street. “Giving back to the communities we serve is a major part of that goal.”

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Among other duties, the employees weeded flower beds, sorted yard sale donations and organized the pet pantry, which keeps food and other pet necessities for pet owners who have fallen on hard times.

Teresa Crocker, executive director of the Suffolk Humane Society, said the society was grateful for the volunteers.

“There’s just no way this would have happened without this group of people,” Crocker said. “We wouldn’t have been able to get anything accomplished.”

Alexander Lobo, one of the Lipton employees, said he used to volunteer for the humane society in another city and decided to call and ask if there was anything the employees could do for Community Action Month.

“I thought this was probably a great place to work,” he said.

“It was wonderful, wonderful timing,” Crocker added.

Ingersoll said the project was the perfect fit.

“I think it kind of sparked the pet lovers in a number of us to give back,” Ingersoll said.

“I think the whole goal is to do something small for our community and make a big impact,” said Lipton employee Sulin Wu.

Following their work, the employees of the Lipton plant, which has been in Suffolk for 62 years, had team-building activities at the site, including a water balloon fight.

Crocker said the society is speeding toward its move-in date in mid-August.

“The goal at the end of the day is we can walk in here with the stuff from our Driver location and set up business,” she said.