Heather Hunter and her husband, Blake, have welcomed their first child to the family with assistance from the company’s leading adoption-friendly employee benefit
Submitted by HanesBrands
The best gift around the Hunter family’s Christmas tree this year will be the presence of a happy family wrapped up in their new daughter.
Heather Hunter, a HanesBrands key account manager, and her husband, Blake, recently adopted their daughter, Tenley Gray, after she was born in May. The Hunters were supported through the process by Hanes’ adoption leave and financial reimbursement benefit and the assistance of many people throughout the organization.
“My husband and I knew from the beginning that we would adopt – and we would have done so no matter what,” Hunter said. “But the complicated process was made so much easier by the support we received from the company and my HanesBrands family.”
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has ranked Hanes No. 15 on its list of the top 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces in 2019. Twelve years ago the company, launched a comprehensive benefit that now offers employees who adopt a child reimbursement for associated expenses up to $15,000 ($20,000 for special-needs children), including application fees, agency and placement fees, legal fees and court costs, home studies and more.
“We had a lump sum of money saved up for our adoption fund, but the process is very expensive and our savings were quickly drained,” Hunter explained. “We were overwhelmed with gratitude when HanesBrands reimbursed us $15,000 for Tenley’s adoption.
“So many people go into massive debt, sell so many things and lose so much just trying to provide a home for a baby who needs one,” she continued. “We are incredibly lucky that the HanesBrands benefit nearly paid for our entire adoption.”
The support Heather received from Hanes extended beyond just monetary compensation. The company’s human resources department and Heather’s managers worked with her to make the transition easy, even when the adoption process did not go as smoothly as she would have hoped.
In December 2018, Heather was notified that she and Blake had a match and that their baby was due in April. They made plans for the baby’s arrival but learned a month later that the match was not going to work.
“We were absolutely heartbroken,” Hunter said. “Because so many people had done so much to help us, I felt bad having to come back to work and share the sad news with my HR team, director and vice president. But I simply couldn’t have asked for better support from everyone – it made a very difficult time a little easier.”
A month later, Heather and Blake received a call that they had been matched once again with a baby girl due in only three weeks. This time the adoption was successful, and Heather, Blake and Tenley were united as a family and Heather took advantage of the 12 weeks’ adoption leave benefit to spend with her new daughter.
The Hunters could not be more excited about their first holiday season with Tenley – and they are looking forward to adding to their family through adoption again in the future.
“The adoption process can be difficult, but it is an amazing experiencing and well worth the effort,” Hunter said. “Our entire family is so appreciative to HanesBrands for helping us have the opportunity to celebrate a priceless gift this holiday season.”
To view the complete list of Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption 2019 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces, visit: www.davethomasfoundation.org/library/2019-100-best-adoption-friendly-workplaces-list/.
HanesBrands (NYSE: HBI) is a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic innerwear and activewear apparel in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia-Pacific. The company markets T-shirts, bras, panties, shapewear, underwear, socks, hosiery, and activewear under some of the world’s strongest apparel brands, including Hanes, Champion, Bonds, Maidenform, DIM, Bali, Playtex, Bras N Things, Nur Die/Nur Der, Alternative, L’eggs, JMS/Just My Size, Lovable, Wonderbra, Berlei, and Gear for Sports. More information about the company and its award-winning corporate social responsibility initiatives may be found at www.Hanes.com/corporate. Visit our newsroom at https://newsroom.hanesbrands.com/. Connect with the company via social media: Twitter (@hanesbrands), Facebook (www.facebook.com/hanesbrandsinc), Instagram (@hanesbrands), and LinkedIn (@Hanesbrandsinc).
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Hanesbrands Inc. is proud of its strong reputation for corporate social responsibility - conducting business around the world in a highly ethical and responsible manner. Our CSR commitments and efforts fall into two categories: 1) environmental responsibility, and 2)social responsibility, including being a responsible employer to our approximately 45,000 employees around the world.
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