This holiday season, Dairy Farmers of America employees have demonstrated the Cooperative's core value of community by reaching out to those in need. Through a wide range of events across the nation, employees donated money, clothing, food and gifts to a variety of local and national organizations.
The nationwide effort allowed Cooperative employees to participate in diverse and creative ways:
Employees at DFA's Medina, Ohio, office collected food, toiletries and clothing items for Haven of Rest Ministries, an organization that serves the homeless throughout Northeast Ohio by providing meals, shelter and clothing.
Embracing the theme "Give unto Udders," employees in the Northeast Area, along with Dairylea, a member cooperative of DFA, and Dairy Marketing Services, participated in a raffle and dress down day to raise a total of $17,140 for the United Way. Additionally, they donated $2,600 to the Rescue Mission in Syracuse, N.Y., and hosted a food drive to collect nearly 40 bags of food for the Salvation Army. Employees also sponsored 50 families with an Angel Tree.
Southeast Area employees at the Knoxville, Tenn., office raised $3,700 for the Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. They donated clothing, canned goods and toys with a barrel drive and held a soup and chili day to gather monetary donations.
The Grapevine, Texas, office had a Festive Holiday Sweater Day, which raised $200 for Toys for Tots. Employees could pay $10 to participate by wearing jeans and a holiday sweater to work.
Western Area employees collected coats for the Salvation Army's annual Coats for Kids drive. Additionally, employees at the Hughson, Calif., plant had a food and toy drive for the local community and donated butter to the local high school for holiday baking.
Kansas City employees representing DFA's Central Area and headquarters office participated in a variety of events including a jeans day, bake sale, soup luncheon and chili cook-off to raise $3,400 for two local charities: Synergy Services, Inc., which assists women and children who are victims of abuse, and Hillcrest Transitional Housing, an organization that helps homeless families become self-supportive. Additionally, 260 gifts and nine boxes of personal care and hygiene items were donated to these organizations through the annual DFA Angel Tree gift drive.
Community outreach programs such as the holiday giving campaign are a key focus area for the DFA Cares Foundation, which has operated since 2005 as a nonprofit charitable organization assisting DFA members and others in the communities DFA serves. The foundation also provides disaster relief and a scholarship program for students pursuing careers in dairy.
Those interested in donating to the DFA Cares Foundation can now make online donations, and have the option to designate their gift in honor of loved ones. For more information, visit www.dfamilk.com/dfacares.