At Welch Packaging, Charity is Just Part of Doing Business

At Welch Packaging, doing the right thing is just part of doing business.

The company founded in 1985 by Scott Welch and silent partner Don Kindt continues to grow and continues to give in a huge variety of ways.

President Scott Welch views himself as the quarterback of a team that gives time and money to improve the communities in which the company does business, particularly Elkhart County.

“My belief is that God gave me a purpose in life and I’ve had a lot of lucky things happen to me. I’m a conduit, in a sense, if good things happen we shouldn’t just bestow it on ourselves,” says Scott.

The company gave an amount in the low seven figures to charity in 2020 and has given even more in 2021. Scott and his wife, Kim, are also generous personally, using their Donor Advised Fund with the Community Foundation of Elkhart County to support more than 150 different nonprofits and faith-based organizations.

Yet generosity goes beyond that. “It’s not just giving away money. It’s touching people,” says Scott, who wants Welch Packaging to make a difference in their customers’ businesses, their communities, and their associates’ lives.

The Welch Family
The Scott and Kim Welch Family is committed to giving back.

The 1,500 associates working together at businesses across the Midwest not only help customers who need corrugated packaging, but also the community. “We’re much more powerful together and people’s lives mean more together,” says Scott. 

The associates gave more than 9,000 hours in 2020 via Acts of Service, the Community Foundation’s program to connect volunteers with the needs of nonprofits.

When the need is within the Welch Packaging family, the company has several ways to support the employee and his or her family. Associates can borrow money interest-free, based on seniority. The company provides short-term disability pay when emergencies arise. The Make a Difference Fund, established with the Community Foundation, is available when calamity strikes. The company supports the fund as part of its budgeting process and the money is there to help associates who have needs in their lives, including housing, transportation, or medical bills.

Scott Welch models philanthropy and generosity — to other business leaders in the community, to his family members who are part of the business, and to Welch’s associates.

He watched others in the Elkhart community give back. “I really believe Elkhart has always had something special,” he says.

His Christian faith is part of what motivates him to give. He also aspires to spark change. “I always wanted to be somebody that made a difference,” he says.

“We’re much more powerful together and people’s lives mean more together”

— Scott Welch
President, Welch Packaging

The Community Foundation helps the Welch family be generous with its flexibility and support. That helps the family both now and as the Welches look toward future generations becoming philanthropists. “My goal is for Welch to be a 100-year-old sustainable company,” he says.

Giving back is the “why of Welch,” says Scott. “We are passionate about what we do, but more importantly is the impact that our company can have when people attach to something bigger than a job, or bigger than us.”

This story appeared in the 2021 Annual Report.

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