Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA 10 October 2016 -- Small things can make a big difference in mill communities. Take, for instance, wood chips leftover from the papermaking process.
For more than a decade, Domtar's Kingsport Mill in Kingsport, Tennessee, has been donating wood chip fines to Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc., a local nonprofit foundation dedicated to enriching the lives of people with special needs and disabilities through horseback riding.
Every two to three weeks, the mill gives Small Miracles a large dump truck load of wood chip fines: Think of them as large dust granules from larger wood chips that are too small to be used to make paper. The organization uses the fines as a floor covering in the horse stables and in the riding rings. This wood chip donation helps Small Miracles provide better care for its horses. It also relieves some of the financial pressure.
"The contributions that we receive from Domtar's Kingsport Mill are such a blessing and really help us create a better environment for our horses by adding extra comfort and hygienic benefits to their stables," said J.R. Russell, who manages the Small Miracles facility. "This donation means that we don't have to go out and buy [wood] shavings for the horses, which makes such a difference for a nonprofit organization like Small Miracles."
The Kingsport Mill is happy to help. It's just one of many ways the mill gives back to the community.
"Over the years, we've contributed to many United Way agencies, which led us to Small Miracles," said Kingsport Mill environmental coordinator Bonnie Depew. "We take pleasure in providing services to our community, especially through a donation like this, where we can provide a necessary service while also reusing resources at the mill."
Depew said that the mill also donates wood chips to area schools and playgrounds to create soft surfaces for sports and recess activities.