“More stories are coming in every day:” How Avery Dennison and its employees are extending a hand to Ukraine


When Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24, Avery Dennison, its employees, and the Avery Dennison Foundation soon joined the global effort to provide humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people. Avery Dennison Foundation President Alicia Procello recently described how.


Avery Dennison Foundation

March 24, 2022


“More stories are coming in every day:” How Avery Dennison and its employees are extending a hand to Ukraine

Let’s start at the beginning. Why have Avery Dennison and The Avery Dennison Foundation been compelled to respond to the invasion of Ukraine?

Avery Dennison is a company that operates from its values. That’s something Stan Avery took to heart when he founded the company, and the company takes the same approach today. One of the ways it expresses those values is by making community investments through The Avery Dennison Foundation.


The Foundation has a long history of contributing to relief efforts for natural disasters and other humanitarian crises, particularly in communities where Avery Dennison has a presence. In this case, Avery Dennison has a few employees in Ukraine. It also has a few in Russia, despite not having any operations there. And it has a large presence in Europe, with many employees in countries that neighbor Ukraine. This invasion has brought war to their doorsteps. So a response—not only through the Foundation, but through spontaneous acts of generosity and compassion from employees acting on their own—was almost automatic.


“More stories are coming in every day:” How Avery Dennison and its employees are extending a hand to Ukraine
“More stories are coming in every day:” How Avery Dennison and its employees are extending a hand to Ukraine


How has the Foundation responded so far? 

The first thing we did was to set up a Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund that our employees can donate to via GlobalGiving, our partner that coordinates employee giving for disaster relief. Through an easy-to-use website, employees can make a donation, see how their funds will be used, and receive reports on how their donation is being applied to relief efforts. 


Avery Dennison is matching employee donations dollar for dollar. 


In addition to the more than $35,000 in employee donations so far—$70K after the match— Avery Dennison business units operating in the Europe, Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) region have donated $50,000 USD, which will also be matched by the company. These funds are going to NGOs serving affected communities in Ukraine and in communities in other countries receiving Ukrainian refugees.


Apart from the relief fund, the Foundation has also made substantial donations to several NGOs, right? 

Yes. Shortly after we set up the relief fund, the Foundation’s Trustees voted to make donations totalling $1 million for humanitarian relief, divided among three NGOs: Caritas Ukraine, (through the King Baudouin Foundation United States), UNICEF, and International Medical Corps.


Why those particular NGOs? 

Our Trustees felt strongly about directing funds to relief efforts in-country, about supporting several organizations rather than just one, and about directly supporting people in Ukraine and refugees in neighboring countries. They also wanted to donate to globally recognized entities that Avery Dennison or the Foundation have worked with for many years.


Can you tell us a bit about what each organization does? 

Caritas Ukraine has been on the ground in Ukraine since shortly after the country declared independence in the early 1990s. 


It assists vulnerable people affected by traumatic events regardless of their background, and is providing food, water, shelter and hygiene kits across Ukraine and at its borders, among other services.


UNICEF is working in Ukraine and in neighboring countries with its partners to meet the increasing need for health care, education, protection, safe water and a range of life-saving supplies.


International Medical Corps is supporting mobile medical, mental health and protection services response in Ukraine, and will provide other services as required. They have deployed staff to Poland, Romania and Moldova, and set up hubs to provide critical supplies, services and programs at Ukrainian borders.


“More stories are coming in every day:” How Avery Dennison and its employees are extending a hand to Ukraine


Apart from what the Foundation is doing, how are Avery Dennison employees responding to the  crisis? 

Many employees are deeply concerned about the humanitarian impact. Our teams in EMENA have been particularly passionate.


We’re hearing about many different employee efforts, and more stories are coming in every day. 


For example, employees at an RBIS manufacturing plant in Romania, in an area that has welcomed some 400 refugees so far, donated food and other supplies to women and children living in a local high school dormitory. That team is now investigating which supplies are most urgently needed so that they can supply more. 


In Luxembourg, the company’s Rodange facility made a donation to local hospitals, which sent medical equipment to the Polish border. The atma.io team in Europe is providing cash and SIM cards for displaced families so they can connect with loved ones, and is planning a “matchmaking” website to connect refugees looking for housing and work. In Portugal, a team worked with our distributor and a customer to donate materials to decorate a semi-truck headed to Poland full of food, medicine, and other essential supplies donated by local firefighters.


Employees are also going to great lengths to help on their own, outside of efforts organized at work. Some are hosting refugees in their homes. One of our employees in the Netherlands told me today that his family had just welcomed a Ukrainian family—a mother and her two daughters, who’d spent 11 days on a harrowing journey through Ukraine, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands. At certain points, they had to hide. This employee’s family is helping the kids enroll in school and helping the mom find a job. 


Other employees are driving to the border to transport Ukrainian residents to safety. Some are collecting and distributing food and supplies. One employee—I don’t know when she’s finding time to sleep— is helping refugees find jobs, persuaded her local science museum to offer free admission for Ukrainian families, and created training for host families on how to provide emotional support to refugees. In Germany, a colleague’s three children sold cakes and waffles in front of their house on a Sunday morning and raised 525 Euros, which they donated to the relief effort. And a number of employees are taking part in protests against the invasion. So there has been a significant outpouring of support of all kinds, and I expect there will be more. 


What’s next? What is your strategy for contributing to relief efforts as the war goes on? 

Like the rest of the world, we’re watching to see how the situation unfolds. This is like no other relief effort the Foundation has responded to. It’s different from a natural disaster. It’s different from the pandemic. We are fervently hoping for a swift return to peace and end to the suffering and displacement that are already taking place. How we might do our part to help in the future depends on how events develop, but I know that no matter what happens, our employees will lead with their values and their hearts as they have so far. They always do. 


Read more about Avery Dennison's response to the war in Ukraine.

You may also like

Avery Dennison Foundation invests in women’s empowerment through The Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value Chains

By Matthan Evans - Mar 01, 2022

A conversation with Shruti George, senior director, Strategic Innovation Platform

By Matthan Evans - Feb 21, 2022

TrafficJet™ Pro & Osburn Signs

By Matthan Evans - Jan 04, 2022

Sign up for updates


Email Address