Michael Holloway

Company Gives 1 Million Thanks to Key Workers

Milwaukee's Leader Paper Products donating 1 million thank you cards to essential workers during pandemic.

By - May 18th, 2020 03:53 pm
A Million Thanks! Photo courtesy of Leader Paper Products.

A Million Thanks! Photo courtesy of Leader Paper Products.

Showing gratitude can go a long way, especially when everyone is encouraged to stay isolated from one another. Leader Paper Products, a local company specializing in premium envelopes and other paper products, recognizes this and has launched a community campaign that will give one million “thank you” cards to workers on the COVID-19 frontlines.

The campaign — called “One Million Thanks!” — will have Leader Paper Products donating “thank you” cards in sets of four to employees, customers, vendors, partners and community members with the intent of passing them along to any essential workers that have continued to work through the pandemic — from doctors to postal workers.

“We wanted to do something special to show our appreciation for essential workers during this time,” stated Steve Hipp, Leader Paper Products CEO, in a press release. “By distributing 250,000 free sets of cards, the A Million Thanks! campaign will literally give one million thanks to these everyday heroes.”

Those interested in picking up a set of thank you cards can attend a contact-free community pick-up event on May 23. From 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers will be set up outside of Leader Paper Products (located in Walker’s Point at 901 S. 5th St.) wearing masks and gloves and following the recommended six-feet social distancing.

The cards will feature one of 16 different images designed by Tac Krueger, a graphic designer at Leader Paper Products. Employees spent several weeks packaging the cards, which have a total retail price of approximately $1.2 million. Any businesses looking to place large orders of the cards can email amillionthanks@leaderpaper.com or complete the request form on www.leaderpaper.com. Orders can also be placed by calling the main office at 414-645-5760.

Leader Paper Products was founded in 1901 and is owned by the Wilke family. In 1950, the company built its first facility at 935 S. 5th St., and then grew, buying a neighboring building at 925-929 S. 5th St. a decade later, followed by additional expansions on the block bordered by S. 5th St, S. 6th St, W. Walker St. and W. Mineral St..

In 2017, Leader Paper Products purchased a 187,568-square-foot industrial building on the far South Side, at  5111 S. 9th St., for $6.75 million, with plans to renovate the building and create a new company location. Just last year, Hipp was named the new president and chief executive officer of the company, taking over for Scott Wilke who now operates as the chairman of the board.

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