When a little boy in need dances around in a new coat – with his stomach full and his fist packed with cookies – the holiday spirit comes alive.
And it certainly has in many locations around the country, thanks to caring associates of Rich Products Corporation.
In late 2009, as both winter’s cold and the holiday season fast approached, associates from Rich’s Gallatin plant, near Nashville, Tenn., partnered with the local Salvation Army and others to help clothe the homeless. Because the plant is widely known for its outstanding BBQ, the associates also provided those less-fortunate a feast that featured hickory smoked BBQ.
Associate Glenn Pervatt earlier had mobilized a large group of Rich’s volunteers to lend a hand at that special time of the year. Pervatt personally spread the word in downtown Nashville, asking for donations of food and clothing.
With Gallatin associates at the forefront, it became a true community effort. Several local churches, the students from nearby Gallatin High School, and caring citizens from all over the area came together to collect more than 400 coats for the homeless. In partnership with the Gallatin plant, associates from Rich’s nearby Murfreesboro, Tenn., facility also collected coats and contributed cookies for the barbecue.
In the end, the volunteers had provided warmth, nourishment and hope to more than 200 people of all ages, and Salvation Army Director Ron Harmon expressed his appreciation for all the hard work. “This is one of the largest donation events I’ve ever experienced,” Harmon said at the time.
In 2010, the associates with the Consumer Brands Division, located on St. Simons Island, Ga., assisted the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services by adopting 17 children during the holidays. Associates donated gifts or funds for the project, and each child received a new coat, clothes and toys. In addition, families of the children received gift cards to area grocery stores and two board games.
“We filled an office space with the presents and toys, and I think we gained as much from this experience of giving as those we set out to help,” said associate Alisha Wiggins. “It’s a wonderful thing when the company you work for not only appreciates but also truly supports any effort we make to give back to our community. It truly made our holidays extra special.”
These examples are just a small taste of what Rich’s associates have done to make the holidays a little brighter around the globe. What can you do to better your community?