Our offices make it a priority each holiday season to find ways to make a difference in the community, whether that’s donating, volunteering, or collecting items. We leave it up to each office to choose an organization they’re passionate about and find ways to support them. See all the unique ways our team members make a difference across the US.
The Brainerd, MN office team was happy to help Smiles for Jake this holiday season. Smiles for Jake is a local mental health and suicide awareness organization. In December, Mike DeRosier, Regional Manager of the Brainerd Interstates’ office, presented the organization with a $500 check. This will help Smiles for Jake in their fundraising effort to bring the Kevin Hines story to the community in May. The office has seen the special work they’ve done for the area and was glad to support them in their efforts to support Central Minnesota’s youth.
Des Moines, IA and Fort Dodge, IA Offices
In our Fort Dodge, IA and Des Moines, IA offices, the teams took up the task of adopting a family through Upper Des Moines Opportunity (UDMO). Located in 12 northwest and north-central Iowa communities, they support local households with school bags, baby formula, food, and much more. Their mission and work in the community are why our team was thrilled to support them. In teams of 4, our team members purchased clothes and toys for their child. These items were wrapped and given to the kids. Jenny Gilliland, a project coordinator in this office, commented, “I was so proud of our crew! Many went above and beyond!”
In the Rocky Mountain region, our Fort Collins, CO office is making a difference at Crossroads Safehouse. This organization provides care, advocacy, and support to victims of domestic violence. They offer services like an emergency shelter, legal advocacy, and youth and bilingual advocacy. The team members in this office felt strongly about supporting victims and their families in the Fort Collins community. “We recognize that anyone can be a victim, but anyone can be a helping hand as well,” shared Louise Ozmina, Senior HR Generalist in Fort Collins. They put together 50 toiletry bags and other donations for the holidays. It was our Colorado office’s biggest donation turnout.
In Lubbock, TX, our office looked to raise donations for a local organization. They decided on an organization called Grace Campus. Their goal is to help people out of homelessness by offering a 6-month program that includes their own private space, help with employment, and more. They set out to raise money for Grace Campus and even had a team member agree to match what was raised. Beth Smith, Office Coordinator in Lubbock and donation organizer, shared her pride for the team, “This was a group effort from all of the Texas Office. Everyone made a donation.” They raised enough to purchase multiple items on their needs list and drop them off at Grace Campus. The entire team was excited to support this organization and even have goals set for next year.
In Kansas, our team shared a little bit of holiday cheer with Good Shepherd Homecare & Hospice (GSHH). GSHH provides care to its patients and families in the Manhattan, KS, area. For Melissa Boutwell, Office Coordinator at Interstates’ Kansas office, it’s an organization dear to her heart. She has led efforts at Interstates to support them, including the 2nd Annual Merry Making event to bake goodies for GSHH’s staff and residents and their family members. As a previous staff member at GSHH, she shares her passion for the organization. “Having the opportunity to work for this organization allowed me to be on the inside and see firsthand what it takes to care for clients and families in their scariest, saddest, darkest hours with such love, compassion, and grace.” They were happy to deliver the treats and a monetary donation to the staff. “It is nice that we can take pause as an office and organization to give back just a tiny bit of holiday cheer,” adds Boutwell.
In Omaha, NE, our team has been busy collecting toys and putting together kits for Open Door Mission. They donated about $2,000 worth of items, and some even volunteered at the Santa Warehouse as Toy and Joy Attendants to help parents pick out presents for their families. Open Door Mission provides resources for the Omaha community year-round, but over the holidays, they host Project Santa for those that cannot afford presents during Christmas. This office has supported this holiday toy drive for the last 4 years. Jamie Scoles, an Accounting Specialist at Interstates, said she fell in love with the organization and its mission in 2018. “I got to hear stories about how Open Door Mission saved [resident’s] lives.” Since then, the Omaha office is excited to support this organization each year.
Sioux Center, IA and Sioux Falls, SD Offices
Team members in Sioux Center, IA and Sioux Falls, SD offices are spending time writing encouragement cards for Avera Behavioral and Mental Health patients. Avera wants to focus on the whole person and support their patients in all areas, including mental health. Jessica Regnerus, an Executive Administrative Assistant at Interstates, talked about why they chose this event. “We want to remind them that they can reach out at any time for additional support/help and give them some encouragement as they continue to work on their mental health.” Both offices are hosting writing sessions throughout January to make it easy to do as a team.
This small but mighty team in Tulsa, OK, came together to volunteer at Toys for Tots. The Marine Toys for Tots program work hard to collect and distribute toys for kids in local communities. The Marine unit in Broken Arrow, OK, led the effort for the Tulsa area. One of our project coordinators in this office, Ezra Bunnell, recently came from the Marine Corps, specifically from this base. He had volunteered with them before, and the rest of the office was excited to volunteer alongside him. They helped distribute these toys to children for the holiday season. Bunnell said, “It was a long busy day, but we had a blast volunteering!”