Published: January 08, 2020
Published: January 08, 2020

Kim and Pia Splash New Life into Danish Community

Both Pia Carlsen and Kim Clausen take a great deal of satisfaction in the fact that at PPG, we are all encouraged to propose, organize and take part in various corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Therefore, as keen advocates of community engagement activities, Kim and Pia kept their eyes peeled for the perfect COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® project in their local area.

It is a rare thing in Denmark to see private companies partnering with the municipality to make a difference to local communities.

Local Center Presented the Perfect Opportunity

Pia is the assistant to the general manager for Architectural Coatings Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, while Kim is the product technician for the Denmark site and export. Their desire to help in their community was born out in local Det Åbne Tilbud.

As a center for adults with developmental disabilities or spectrum disorders, Det Åbne Tilbud offers various activities, socializing events and field trips in Soborg, Denmark to its community of members. What with its upcoming merger with another facility for people with developmental disabilities, this coming together signifies a brand-new start for them both.

The space that was to become the hub for the newly merged center was very worn and uninspiring – all white. It desperately needed some love and color!

A Fresh Start Deserves a Fresh Lick of Paint

Kim, Pia, and around 20 of their colleagues turned up at Det Åbne Tilbud armed with 100 liters of DYRUP® paint products.

Users and staff at the center were involved in choosing colors and decoration, and then our color specialist selected the final palette for the space using our high-end products.

The rooms that would become the new center’s main space received painting and beautification from the enthusiastic volunteers. They put up and painted shelves (including gallery shelves for members’ fresh paintings) and decorated a new creative room.

The facility also received brand new dinner tables and chairs so that members could have a communal space for sharing dinner, instead of eating alone at home. Additionally, our own artists, Talal Ghadban and Pia Ebdrup, held a painting workshop.

We also invested in a new gaming console and screen, as well as a gaming table, as it was a big wish from the younger members to be able to play together.

“One of the Best Days in a Long Time”

With pleasure and pride, Kim and Pia invited the mayor of the city and our general manager for the region, Peter Sørensen, to open the newly renovated space, together with a total of 60 guests!

It was so enriching to spend time with these people and then to see them so happy with something we did. I feel like we have done something meaningful for others, both on an individual level as well as on a collective one.

One member expressed perfectly the kind of impact this sort of project can have: “This was one of the best days for me for a long time.”

Talal Ghadban gifted a painting he created to the center on opening day, which bore the center’s brand-new name (chosen by way of a competition): Kellers Klub.

“It Is a Long Process from Ideation to Reality and Optimism Is Essential”

It is a long process from ideation to reality and optimism is essential. You get to meet new people and cultures – even those within PPG – and become part of their daily lives for a short time. I’m #PPGProud that I get the opportunity to make a difference for others. It’s so nice to see the happiness radiating from our partners and colleagues as we work together to make something wonderful.
You need to invest and dedicate yourself. There is the practical side of things, but, more importantly, there is the human side. When I saw and heard how grateful the center staff and members were – not just for the donation, but for our time and work – it makes me #PPGProud to be part of a company that encourages us and supports us in carrying out these kinds of meaningful projects.

Who Are Kim and Pia When Not Changing Lives?

This is, in fact, not Pia’s first community project – she has done a lot of volunteering at local organizations, like the cancer-focused “Relay for Life”. Plus, when she’s not at her desk, you can find her on her mountain bike. Heatwaves, rain, snow, hurricanes – nothing can dissuade her from going for a ride. Her other passion is hard rock and metal, and she loves attending concerts and festivals.

Kim also likes concerts, as well as boxing training, and he spends a lot of time renovating his house and garden. His other volunteering undertakings have included arranging concerts, the Roskilde Festival, and various art projects.

Just as with their other volunteer work, Kim and Pia really feel that the volunteers have made a difference with this Colorful Communities project, but it doesn’t end here. Members from the center already plan to visit the PPG site to see how we produce our paints and how we work. Now that is what community is all about.

Learn more about Colorful Communities initiative here.