Local company helps Santa aid HM students

Jennifer Barth (left), the director of manufacturing at Metalloid Corporation’s headquarters in Sturgis, MI, folds a coat so that it can be placed in a gift box by Brandt Hiple (middle), a production worker at Metalloid Huntington, on Monday, Dec. 10, at Metalloid Huntington. The company wanted to do something beneficial for the community this holiday season and was encouraged to donate coats, hats and gloves to students in need of winter clothing at Horace Mann Elementary School, in Huntington.
Jennifer Barth (left), the director of manufacturing at Metalloid Corporation’s headquarters in Sturgis, MI, folds a coat so that it can be placed in a gift box by Brandt Hiple (middle), a production worker at Metalloid Huntington, on Monday, Dec. 10, at Metalloid Huntington. The company wanted to do something beneficial for the community this holiday season and was encouraged to donate coats, hats and gloves to students in need of winter clothing at Horace Mann Elementary School, in Huntington. Photo by Steve Clark.

Christmas is going to come a little early for several students at Horace Mann Elementary School.

Metalloid Corporation, in Huntington, has purchased and donated 30 winter coats to the school, along with hats and gloves. With deep roots in the community, the company felt it had a duty to identify a need somewhere in Huntington this holiday season and fill it.

“We’ve been here since 1951, so Huntington has been a big part of our corporation, Metalloid,” explains Jennifer Barth, the director of manufacturing at Metalloid’s headquarters in Sturgis, MI. “So, we just wanted to give back and we’re glad we can do it this way, especially for kids who need coats.”

The Huntington County Chamber of Commerce helped focus Metalloid’s search for a community need. Steve Kimmel, the chamber’s executive director, contacted Chad Daugherty, the assistant super- intendent for instruction with the Huntington County Community School Corporation, for ideas. Daugherty suggested Metalloid look into doing something that would benefit students at Horace Mann.

“It was a new school,” says Daugherty of Horace Mann, which reopened this school year after closing in 2011. “Everybody else has kind of adopted all the other schools.”

After zeroing in on Horace Mann, it was decided that Metalloid would furnish the school with winter clothing, to be distributed to students in need of such garments, as identified by the school’s teachers.

To that end, Metalloid went out and purchased brand-new coats, hats and gloves. Personnel from the company, including Barth and Luke Vickrey, the general manager of Metalloid Huntington, then packed the winter clothing in gift boxes, which they subsequently wrapped. Each box contains a coat, hat and gloves and is marked with sizing information to ensure that the contents within fit the student who receives them.

Mark DuBois, Horace Mann’s principal, says that the gifts will be distributed to students sometime before Christmas break.

He is grateful for Metalloid’s giving spirit.

“This is awesome,” says DuBois. “I’ve never experienced anything like this. So, it’s kind of like a shock factor, in a way.

“This is just a great opportunity for some of our students to get a great jacket and winter clothing. It’s just going to meet a need. It’s pretty special that Metalloid’s willing to invest into our students, into our community.”