Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on our lives this year. And while we’re hopeful our routines will soon return to normal with the promise of new vaccines, we still face a holiday season like none other. Many families are struggling to meet basic needs of food and shelter so gift giving may seem a luxury. That’s where members of the lead battery manufacturing and recycling industry step in. Battery companies are known as good neighbors in their community, and each year we highlight a few companies whose employees organize to give back to their communities and help those in need. This year that’s more important than ever.
Bypassing the Red Kettle.
Recognizing that the pandemic would negatively impact their busiest fundraising season, with less retail foot traffic, fewer people carrying cash or coins, and more retail stores closed, The Salvation Army foresaw a potential 50% decrease in funds raised through its familiar red kettles. The Salvation Army is the country’s largest nongovernmental provider of social services and its annual Red Kettle Campaign provides toys for kids, coats for the homeless and food for the hungry.
Milwaukee-based Remy Battery, a family-owned and operated business since its doors first opened in 1931, wanted to aid the Army’s “Rescue Christmas” campaign. They pitched in and donated 240 AA batteries and 240 AAA batteries to The Salvation Army to put in kids’ gifts and ensure that they can get plenty of play time with their new toys. “Batteries not included” is a phrase too often read on Christmas morning, turning a child’s excitement to frowns and tears. For many families, making a quick battery run is as easy as holiday pie. But for the less fortunate, it’s another obstacle to overcome.
Remy’s primary business is batteries for automotive, marine and motorcycles. Yet, small AA and AAA batteries are required in more gifts than most people realize. From toy pianos to learning toys and games, many gifts don’t include batteries or only include the bare minimum needed. This leaves the child with a toy that either doesn’t operate or only has enough power for short-lived fun. By donating smaller batteries to Toys for Tots, Remy hopes to make the holidays a little brighter – and longer lasting.
Gopher Resource Gives to Those in Need.
Employees at Eagan, Minnesota’s Gopher Resource, came together to participate in the Minnesota Annual Give to the Max Day, with donations benefiting the local food shelf, The Open Door Pantry of Eagan. Employees at the national lead battery recycler held a fundraiser online with a goal of raising $1,000. They raised $2,325! In addition, employees donated over 200 pounds of food. The event is in its twelfth year, having started as a one-time only event in 2009. Through over 12 years of one-day giving, donors like Gopher Resource have contributed to give more than $220 million to more than 10,000 nonprofits and schools across the state.
Gopher Resource Tampa has again partnered with Metropolitan Ministries to collect food and toys for the holiday season. Metropolitan Ministries is projecting to serve up to 50,000 families (ages ranging from infants to teens) and toys are an ongoing need. Employees are hosting this annual drive through December 18th to give children hope for the holidays!
A Range of Giving in Southeast Missouri.
Based on geography alone, The Doe Run Company knows first-hand the need for holiday support. The metals and mining company has been a presence in Missouri for more than 150 years, operating in “the lead belt” in Southeast Missouri. Doe run provides employment in a region that lacks good manufacturing jobs and is supporting its communities in several ways this holiday season.
Employees are supporting Adopt a Family programs by donating Christmas presents, food for Christmas dinner, clothing, shoes, toys and other essential items such as cookware, toiletries, and tools. Employees have also led fundraising efforts, such as selling shirts and supporting a 50/50 raffle, to raise additional money to support the adopted families to help meet needs that go beyond the holiday season.
Recognizing that many individuals also need help, employees have donated canned goods and non-perishable items to support food drives to help the elderly and individuals with physical disabilities.
And knowing that nothing warms the heart like a warm coat, employees collected 90 coats during a coat drive, to help fend off winter’s chill.
Be of Good Cheer.
By sharing these stories we hope to inspire others to give generously in their communities not only during the holidays, but throughout the year.