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Meals on Wheels Names Olympus Corporate Partner of the Year

Inaugural Award Recognizes Hard Work and Dedication of Olympus Employee Volunteers in Serving the Lehigh Valley

Nineteen of the more than 40 Olympus Meals on Wheels employee volunteers on the grounds of the Olympus Corporation of the Americas campus.

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., (November 13, 2019) – Olympus Corporation of the Americas (OCA), the North American headquarters for Olympus Corporation based in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, was named the inaugural Corporate Partner of the Year by Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley (MOWGLV) at the 19th Annual Bountiful Bowl, which took place at DeSales University on November 8, 2019. The award recognizes Olympus’ longstanding support of MOWGLV through volunteerism and financial support. MOWGLV provides freshly prepared nutritious meals, wellness checks and social visits to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities so they can eat well, stay socially connected and remain living independently for as long as possible.

“We are proud to acknowledge Olympus’ substantive commitment to volunteerism. Olympus helps Meals on Wheels clients extend their ability to age in place by promoting healthy nutrition and social connectedness. This partnership is evidence of Olympus’ investment in our community,” said Vicki Coyle, CEO of Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley.

The Olympus “True to Community” volunteer program offers all OCA employees 16 hours of paid time off each fiscal year to volunteer for their chosen organization. The Meals on Wheels volunteer initiative was one of the first workday volunteer programs at Olympus. For more than six years, a team of Olympus employees has made twice-weekly meal deliveries to home-bound individuals throughout Lehigh and Northampton Counties as part of this initiative. Today, the team includes more than 40 employee volunteers.

“It’s much more than food delivery,” said Tracy Gregory, Specialist for Employee Experience at OCA. “We have conversations, we get introduced to the family, and sometimes we have to respond to needs beyond the meal.” Tracy recounts the story of an older woman who did not answer the doorbell when the team arrived to deliver her meal. “Our initial hope was that she had not fallen. We rang the doorbell, identified ourselves, and then we called our contact at MOWGLV. We are well trained in how to handle these situations,” said Tracy. “In this case, MOW called the house and the lady picked the phone up right away. She kind of chuckled when she came to the door, saying she had lost her hearing aid but had heard the phone as it was right next to her when it rang. Well, we went into the house and helped her find her hearing aid, which had fallen on the floor.”

“Oftentimes, we are the only people these older people see in a day,” adds Lorrie Sheets, Senior Executive Administrative Assistant at OCA.

Tracy helped develop the initial pilot workday volunteer program. “It’s important for us to share who we are and what we’re capable of doing as a company,” said Tracy. “This volunteer program is our face to the community.”

Tracy and Lorrie have been instrumental in the organization and ongoing success of the Olympus Meals on Wheels program since it launched in 2013. Using a train-the-trainer model, they manage the administration of the volunteer effort within Olympus, training volunteers, organizing the routes, and storing all necessary equipment onsite at Olympus. Their efforts further support MOWGLV by offloading responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Olympus MOW volunteer program.

“Our level of commitment is what is unique about our program,” said Lorrie Sheets. “We don’t rely on Meals on Wheels for the training or recruitment. We find and prepare our employee volunteers, who use their own vehicles to make the deliveries.”

Prior to Olympus, Lorrie worked at MOW, and she now serves as the main Olympus contact for MOW. “We started going out every two months or so with about 14 people, but word of mouth quickly spread and soon we were delivering twice weekly, which is our current schedule,” said Lorrie. The team delivers on Mondays and Thursdays with 18 people on each team. All employees go out in pairs.

Employees at two other Olympus locations also participate in MOW programs. Fifteen employee volunteers at the Olympus Brooklyn Park, MN location have been delivering meals every Tuesday for three and a half years through the Community Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP). Twenty employee volunteers at the Olympus Bartlett, TN location will begin their Meals on Wheels route with the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA) in January 2020.

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About Olympus
Olympus is a global technology leader, crafting innovative optical and digital solutions in medical technologies; life sciences; industrial solutions; and cameras and audio products. Our solutions enable specialists to look inside the human body, further scientific research, ensure public safety and capture images of the world.

Throughout our 100-year history, Olympus has focused on being true to society and making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling. Olympus Corporation of the Americas (OCA)—a wholly owned subsidiary of Olympus Corporation in Tokyo, Japan—is headquartered in Center Valley, Pennsylvania and employs more than 5,300 employees throughout locations in North and South America. For more information, visit olympusamerica.com and truetolife.com.

Olympus…True to You. True to Society. True to LIFE.