CHICAGO – In today’s America where major corporations like Amazon and others dominate the marketplace in the name of profit and stock shares, business-consumer relations have grown profoundly impersonal and transactional. For all the money spent on the Amazon website every day, who can name one employee? And who feels the sincere involvement of these corporations when it comes to addressing specific community needs?
There are major companies that refuse to go that route, preferring to strike the right balance between profit and bettering the community. Chicago’s Ozinga Concrete is one such company.
On the 64th day of his 100-day rooftop vigil to raise money for a transformative community center on the South Side of Chicago, Pastor Corey Brooks brought up Paul Ozinga for a chat by the campfire. Ozinga is the fourth generation to run this company.
“If you’ve seen any building here in Chicago, this company has probably laid the concrete or given the concrete or sold the concrete to make it happen,” the pastor said. “Why is it important that companies like yours get involved in the city of Chicago to help as it relates to the violence?”
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“Throughout all four generations, our mission as a family has been to honor and glorify God and serve the crown of his creation and our fellow man. We’re first guided by that direction,” Ozinga revealed. “When we look through the lens of how we’re operating our business, we’re saying, ‘Is it honoring and glorifying to God and are we serving the communities that we’re in?’”
Ozinga added: “We’ve been blessed to be able to run this business and we’re called to steward it for the time that we have it. And being in the communities that we’re in, it is imperative that the community gives so much that we’re required to give back to the community. Each and every individual has unique gifts and talents.”
“Right,” the pastor said, deeply appreciative of Ozinga seeing the positives in his much maligned community.
“And it’s important that we’re all able to use those gifts and talents,” Ozinga continued. “And it’s also important that people have purpose. And so we want to be able to create jobs, we want to be able to give purpose and we want to be able to give back to the community for the betterment of everybody. And by community, I say everybody has a responsibility to look after their community that they’re in.”
“Absolutely,” the pastor said.
“Business, making money, all those things, they’re …….