Mike Mallernee is a BP Cherry Point Refinery employee who dedicates his time to working with the teens at the Ferndale Boys & Girls Club — one of the four Clubs that make up the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County.
Mallernee, a process engineer at the refinery, moved from Ohio to Whatcom County in 2015. He was looking for a way to put down roots and get involved in his new community.
“I wanted to pay it forward to all of the volunteers I’ve had in my life,” he says. “Without those people, I wouldn’t have the success or the life I live today.”
“Anytime you go into a Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County branch, you understand it is a place that makes a difference in the lives of kids in our communities every day,” says Rayanne McKeon, internal communications advisor for BP Cherry Point Refinery and member of the Boys & Girls Club Resource Development Committee.
With a long history of supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County, BP invests in an organization that is investing in our kids.
When a fire resulted in the devastating loss of the Ferndale Clubhouse in January 2007, BP donated $250,000 to rebuild the building, embedding the company’s logo into the new gym floor to signify the strong community partnership.
“BP was one of the first to step up and say, ‘What’s it going to take?’” says Powell.
“Our employees are a part of this community,” says McKeon. “We want kids to have a great place to go — a safe space that provides homework help, activities and sports. That place is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County. The skills club kids learn stay with them for a lifetime.”
Volunteering in the teen center, Mallernee says that it took some time to make a connection. By consistently volunteering every week, he was able to break down walls and get to know the kids.
“Follow-through is important,” he says. “Actions speak louder than words. I try to demonstrate through my actions that I really care about the kids.”
“BP genuinely cares about the community,” McKeon adds. “It’s important for a global company like BP to invest in the communities where employees live, work and raise their families.”
She adds that BP employees like Mallernee are encouraged to volunteer with and support a number of local charities and nonprofits such as the Boys & Girls Clubs.
BP’s employee match program makes it easier for employees to contribute and volunteer. The company matches employees’ financial contributions and converts volunteer hours into a monetary contribution.
“BP delivers on a promise,” adds Powell. “BP invests in organizations that matter to their employees, and they are definitely a company that shows up.”
Describing when BP was asked to help finance the costs of a new gym floor at the Bellingham Clubhouse, Powell says, “BP’s approach was that if the kids need it and we can create impact with it, then it should be done.”
BP is proud to return as the title sponsor of this year’s Inspire Higher Dreams Gala and invites a number of employees to attend as guests.
“And when the paddles go up to give, it’s those individual employees who are also contributing,” says Powell.
In total, the businesses in the Cherry Point Industrial Zone, which includes the BP Cherry Point Refinery contributes 12,500 meals and more than 4,100 staff hours.
“It takes one company to say this organization is worth supporting,” says McKeon. “Then others are quick to follow.”
“Boys & Girls Clubs have such an important role in ensuring kids have a positive place to spend their time,” she adds. “Because our employees and their families are also part of these clubs, and it’s even more of a privilege for BP to be a part of it.”
Powell says that the consistency of BP’s support has been invaluable to the organization.
“BP makes sure that people’s families are taken care of. They really invest in the community. I hope the work we do makes them proud.”