Buy & Give: Honoring Community with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton

Buy & Give: Honoring Community with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton

Discover how Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and Millcraft’s Buy & Give program create meaningful impact in the “Dayton Strong” community through compassion, care, and copy paper.

Before there was a Millcraft Conference Room at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and prior to nearly $100,000 in Buy & Give Donations – back in 2015, a relationship between Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and Millcraft had yet to be forged.

When Evan Baker, Division Manager of Millcraft Dayton, reached out to Lori Poelking-Igel, President of the Ohio's Hospice Foundation, she’d never heard of Millcraft. “Evan called me up out of the blue, introduced Millcraft and their new Buy & Give paper program, and he told me he had a donation for Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton,” Poelking-Igel says, taking a slight pause before adding, “The donation was just shy of $13,000!”

Baker chuckles, recalling the beginning of the Buy & Give paper program and first contacting Poelking-Igel. “She was dumbfounded a little bit,” Baker admits, “as to who Millcraft was and what we were trying to do with Buy & Give paper and community outreach. It was all new, for all of us. I don’t think she realized at that time that we even planned to be back the next year.”

Poelking-Igel says she could never have expected Millcraft’s initial, sizable donation in 2015 to become an annual gift—but she never had to follow up to find out. “Evan was essentially knocking at my door, asking me, ‘What are your immediate needs, and how can we help?’ and ‘What projects or products do you need funding for most?’ Millcraft made it known that they wanted to make a difference in our community.”

Paper With Purpose

Established in 2014, Millcraft’s Buy & Give initiative grew out of its mission to create meaningful impact within Millcraft’s communities, and to give back to those in need. The program provides businesses the opportunity to support local charities through routine purchases of Millcraft’s Buy & Give brand office paper. For every carton of paper purchased, Millcraft donates $1 to the program. 

Since its inception through 2021, Buy & Give has generated nearly $600,000 within Midwest communities served by Millcraft and select charitable organizations, including Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. A not-for-profit, community-based hospice founded in 1978 that has helped generations of families, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton provides services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and serves patients in a variety of settings. Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton includes teams of specialists in hospice and palliative care professionals who work to help patients and caregivers gain comfort and peace of mind while embracing life’s journey.

Small But Mighty

One of the smallest divisions within the Millcraft company, Millcraft Dayton has earned Millcraft’s “Biggest Heart, Biggest Sales” award five consecutive years for raising the most Buy & Give charitable donations of any Millcraft division.  

How does the small-but-mighty Dayton team consistently achieve this feat? Baker says, “Dayton is a tight-knit community, and we have a history and legacy of ‘Dayton Strong’. We take care of our own, and give back, and look out for our community. Millcraft wants to be known as an extended part of each of the communities we’re in.”

"In Dayton, with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton,” Baker continues, “we’ve all been touched by the cause, and I believe you have to support the mission to share the story and promote it. To know that these skilled individuals and volunteers are giving of their time to nurture and help those who are transitioning … their compassion and care is inspiring.”

Together With Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton

“They’re a pillar in our Dayton community,” Poelking-Igel says. “I don’t say this lightly, or of everyone, but Millcraft is part of our hospice family. Yes, we have a philanthropic relationship, and the people of Millcraft have also become family to us.”

Since 2015 and through 2021, Millcraft Dayton’s Buy & Give program funds have been directed to specific purchases including translating devices, testing equipment, blanket warming devices, and:

  • Mini-refrigerators, for all 52 patient rooms, providing comfort for family members who can now bring in drinks or snacks while caring for their loved one. 
  • Bladder scanners, to aid with catheters, comfort, and facilitate necessary procedures without causing unnecessary pain or discomfort.
  • Paro Seals, or soft-to-the-touch, robotic stuffed animals that respond to hugs and provide family members and patients comfort, something soothing to hold, and benefits of pet therapy without allergy complications or commotion; especially good for patients with Alzheimer's and dementia. 

“Right from the beginning, Millcraft has always been focused on our direct areas of need, and how they can best support,” Poelking-Igel says. “They’re willing to help with lesser known items like scanners and testing equipment that directly impact patients and quality of end of life. I love that about them.”

The Evan Baker Conference Room 

“I’m all in,” Baker says. “Our relationship with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton has grown, our people know one another, and I’m touched by the charity itself. I’ve shown up, on my own, to volunteer and help set up tables for events or whatever they need, and I will likely do that for the rest of my life.”

“Evan Baker breathes our mission,” Poelking-Igel says. “That’s a hard quality to find. He is really Millcraft’s champion and superstar. His passion inspires us all.”

Nearly a decade after Baker first called Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton in 2015 and connected with Poelking-Igel, she recently received a phone call from another Millcraft team member: 4th-generation company president, Travis Mlakar. 

“Travis requested we rename the ‘Millcraft Conference Room’ the ‘Evan Baker Conference Room’,” Poelking-Igel says. “I think that says a lot about who Millcraft is and the kind of leader Travis is to recognize what Evan has accomplished in the Dayton community.”

Written by: Jen W. O’Deay

To learn more about the Buy & Give program in your area, Just ask.

Related Stories

Read More

Millcraft to Host Wide-Format Demo Day with Mactac & Mimaki

Read More

Millcraft’s Buy & Give Office Paper Program Nears $500,000 in Donations

Read More

Columbus Society of Communicating Arts Presents Illustrator Andy J. Miller