When it comes to serving the community, no need is too great or too small for Service Thread, a Laurinburg, N.C.-based designer and developer of engineered yarns and sewing threads. “We usually try to participate in everything,” says Hope Dohogn, human resources manager. “It’s very rare that we would say no.”
Whether that need is supporting the local basketball team, fundraising for the American Red Cross or sponsoring the Scotland Memorial Foundation’s FUNd Run-4-Life, Service Thread’s enthusiasm for service does not go unnoticed. In February, the company was named Business of the Year by the Laurinburg-Scotland County Chamber of Commerce for its support of and participation in community events—among other reasons, such as maintaining successful business practices and demonstrating innovation and job creation.
Employees contribute to service projects and events at least monthly, Dohogn says. Every nine weeks, for example, they present awards to students at I. Ellis Johnson Elementary School who have shown continuous improvement in behavior. This is part of the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Program, a process for creating school environments that are more predictable and effective for achieving academic and social goals.
A favorite annual event is supporting the Onslow Community Outreach’s Christmas Cheer program where volunteers collect and organize items including food, toys and monetary donations that are distributed to local children and families in need. Service Thread’s participation in this event is employee-driven, as the company’s Christmas party committee decides what the donation focus will be each year.
“Our employees are absolutely wonderful,” Dohogn says. “They are very willing and excited to participate in anything we have in the community. It builds morale within our Service Thread family and gives them the opportunity to get together outside of work and build relationships.”
Other community partners include Habitat for Humanity and United Way, a key ally because of the number of organizations it supports. Popular among employees is United Way’s annual Day of Caring, an all-day event that provides an opportunity for businesses to perform service projects with local nonprofit agencies. In 2017, Service Thread partnered with the Laurinburg Presbyterian Church to purchase and pack snack bags for hungry children in the school system.
To Service Thread, caring for the community also means caring for the environment. To help curb its carbon footprint, the company installed a 250-kilowatt solar panel system on its 108,000-square-foot distribution center.
“Community service should be an everyday part of our business,” Dohogn says. “It is our social responsibility, and we want to make a positive impact on the community and build positive relationships within it.”
Because of its commitment to this belief, Service Thread has also received the Award of Excellence, the Award of Appreciation and the President’s Community Impact Award from United Way, and in 2017 it was named Distinguished Business Partner of the Year by the North Carolina Community Board of Directors.
Holly Eamon is an editor and writer based in Minneapolis, Minn.