As many of us are recovering from the bustle and excitement of the almost-completed holiday season, it’s important to stop and remember those who are less fortunate. Each year, under the guidance of Receptionist Mardell Obermiller, employees at Goodwill Omaha gather together to hopefully make the holiday season a little more enjoyable for our coworkers who might be going through some hard times through our Food Drive and Mitten Tree.
And thanks to the generous employees here, the annual food drive enjoyed a bigger response than ever before!
Here’s how it works: Goodwill managers and supervisors nominate employee families who have been going through rough times and could use a little extra help for the holidays. This year, 18 families — comprising 61 people — were on that list.
But normally, even though employees donated a lot of food, it wouldn’t cover the need.
“In the past, Jayney [Solo, former Employee Council president] and I would have to go out and buy food and ask for reimbursement from Goodwill,” said Obermiller. But this year, all of the food came from Goodwill employees.
Beyond the donated food, response to the Mitten Tree was also exceptional, as every person within each of the families will receive at least one gift.
So a big thanks goes out to everyone who helped, either by donating food or taking a mitten from the tree — but you may have been helping year-round without even realizing it.
A supplemental fund to help fill in any gaps in the donations is created in part from proceeds that Goodwill receives through our vending machine contracts.
So whenever you buy a snack from a machine, you’re helping fill that pot for next Christmas!
Thanks to everyone who contributed this year and hopefully made the holidays a bit more enjoyable for members of our Goodwill family. And thanks to Mardell Obermiller for once again inspiring everyone to help out!