Dow employee says giving is humbling experience

Brian Eiler considers himself fortunate to work for a company that not only allows community involvement, but also encourages it.

“I’m very fortunate,” Eiler said. “I have a great job and I really do enjoy getting out there … rolling up my sleeves and helping out.”

As production leader at Dow’s acrylics and specialty products unit, the Destrehan resident is given the opportunity to give back to the community.

Eiler’s worked for Dow 22 years.

Of that time, he’s spent most of it in St. Charles Parish and dedicated about 10 years to volunteering with the United Way of St. Charles, having served as board president and now as vice president. He’s also served on various UW committees such as the strategic planning committee and assisted with Battle for the Paddle.

“We get people to volunteer with Catholic Charities and different UW operations such as the Council on Aging and the [Greater New Orleans] Therapeutic Riding Center,” Eiler said.

“That’s a big one,” he said of the riding center. “We’ve had multiple people from Dow go volunteer with them.”

Eiler has assisted with UW’s annual campaign, also one of Dow’s major community projects.

“We’ve grown the campaign year over year for the last three or four years,” he said.

Eiler’s volunteerism also extends to community efforts such as different shelters and food pantries.

Volunteering at a food bank has left a lasting impression on him, recalling how it felt to watch people getting food and the many who needed it.

“They are happy to come and receive,” Eiler said. “I saw the happiness of those folks coming and getting a meal.”

He also recalled the founding of the UW’s Backpack program where it was observed that children were squirreling away food in their backpack from school to have something to eat through the weekend. A secure location is provided so the children can get a backpack of food they can take home and even get a bigger backpack if these children have siblings.

“It’s one of those humbling experiences where you realize you’re feeding a child with your donations,” Eiler said. “There are children in this parish not having enough to eat.”

Looking back, he recalled being encouraged to get involved in the community. Now, more than 10 years later, he’s still involved and recently encouraged one of his peers to join the UW board.

“You’ve got to have compassion for your fellow man and want to help somebody,” Eiler said. “You get that ‘feel good’ when you’re building that wheelchair ramp or a fence that someone isn’t quite capable of doing for themselves.”

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