A few weeks ago, we posted a blog about the classroom makeover we did for a youth group in the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago. Before we even set foot in the facility where this makeover happened, we decided we wanted to do more than provide them with a fun space to play in, we wanted to help the neediest of families in this community to have a nice Thanksgiving, especially those with children.
We not only wanted to help as part of our support of the No Kid Hungry Campaign but also to provide our employees with a very tangible and real way to get involved. Our employees shopped for and donated all of the side dishes for 50 Thanksgiving meals, The Land of Nod provided the turkeys with the help of Sunset Foods, headquartered in Highland Park, Illinois. When we were making the plan for doing this, we couldn’t figure out where in the world we were going to store 50 frozen turkeys! Our two refridgerators here at the corporate offices were just not going to work! Sunset not only offered to store the frozen turkeys for us, but then gave us gift certificates to help offset the cost. It was a huge help.
Our next issue was transportation, how were we going to get 50 boxes of food and 50 turkeys safely down to Englewood in one trip? Again, we found a generous partner in RSL trucking in Chicago, they gave us a rental van free of charge, so we could load up and get everything down there in one trip.
The day of the Thanksgiving meal distribution, we loaded up the truck with turkeys and food and then a small caravan of us, including our Managing Director Michelle Kohanzo and two of her kids, headed down to Englewood. Yolanda Morris, the director of the youth program along with several volunteers helped us unload and set up for the families who would come to claim their meals. Everyone was very appreciative of our efforts, and more than gracious in accepting our help. One of the women who work with this program told me that without our donations, these families would not be able to have a Thanksgiving turkey dinner.
It’s amazing how good it makes you feel to be a part of something like that, but even more, I’m incredibly proud to be working with such an amazing and generous group of people here at The Land of Nod. It just goes to show you that a small group of people really can work together to make a big difference. Happy Thanksgiving!
By Sue Cortesi
Sue is the Director of Human Resources at The Land of Nod. Not only that, she’s also an avid cook and baker, much to the delight of everybody in the office. In fact, Sue’s famous cranberry recipe took home the grand prize for Taste of Home Magazine’s recipe contest.