Midwest Gives Back
Highlights of Midwest Gives Back in 2016.
The Midwest Companies — Midwest Groundcovers and Midwest Trading — donated thousands of dollars in 2016 to local charities as part of the companies’ Midwest Gives Back program. The program, now in its 12th year, is a tangible reflection of the Midwest Companies’ core values of family and community, and each year enlists the efforts of Midwest employees to raise funds and pay it forward.
In 2016, Midwest Gives Back employee events raised $3,489.50, an amount matched 100 percent by the company. The funds were donated to Hesed House in Aurora, Illinois, and Hope Haven in DeKalb, Illinois. With the matching funds, each charity received nearly $3,500. In addition, Midwest Gives Back purchased a cook stove through Sustainable Sharing with Guatemala — something Midwest does each year.
Cara Teuber, charity committee chair and human resources manager for the Midwest Companies, said that there are a number of in-house fundraising events held throughout the year, during which employees are invited to participate.
“In 2016 we had a bake sale and several charity luncheons,” Teuber said. “We have a few different things that we do: one thing is a hot dog lunch at the end of the season where employees purchase a hot dog or hamburger, that the committee grills, or they can sign up to donate something for a potluck. All proceeds go directly to the charity fund.
“We also do an employee chili cook-off every fall … and in May we have a veggie plant sale for employees,” she continued. Employees can sign up to purchase tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and other vegetable starter plants from Midwest’s greenhouses. “We generally make quite a bit of money from that, which goes to our charity fund, as well,” Teuber added.
For the end-of-the-year holidays, “We organize a raffle with items donated by local businesses and employees.” One local business donates tickets to a Kane County Cougars minor league baseball game, complete with free parking pass and other ballpark amenities. “At the same time that we’re doing the charity raffle, we do a food drive and donate the items to the Northern Illinois Food Bank,” Teuber explained.
Employees of the Midwest Companies have embraced the spirit of giving in other ways, taking advantage of the companies’ Charity Day of Service. Teuber explained, “We scheduled three dates with two different charities and support and encourage employees to volunteer for one of those dates and times at a particular charity. [Employees] can volunteer during a part of their work day.” The new program was launched this past winter.
“For 2016, we did a lot of the same things that we usually do with a little bit of a twist; sometimes we changes things up a bit from year to year,” Teuber said. Each year, however, the goal is to give back to the community and the industry. The Midwest Companies are grounded in the belief that giving back is one way to make a difference in the community and the environment.