Giving Thanks is Magnified by Giving Back
Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 by Jay Liebenguth
At Thrasher, we believe one of the reasons might be the spirit of Thanksgiving. The "why" of a giver is often associated with how they feel and respond to gratitude. 'Tis the season, as they say.
The employees of Thrasher Foundation Repair are no different. It's part of our culture, and it's part of our core values.
Being an advocate for our community, returning the blessings we've been given.
We are humbled and grateful for the opportunities put before us, and we believe reciprocity is essential. We are honored to support all those who live and work around us and encourage others to consider ways to create their own ripples of goodness in the community.
Here are some of the examples of how Thrasher employees have given back this season.
Warming in Wichita
The Thrasher crew in Wichita wanted to find a way to help the homeless community as they faced the colder weather.
Initially, they thought about distributing donations directly. After Jessica Edwards, Andy Manion, and Sales and Service Manager Shae Mapes checked into organizations in the area, they selected United Methodist Open Door in Wichita.
The entire Wichita office of more than 65 employees was divided into teams to gather coats, warm clothing and non-perishable food. They anticipated a 3-week timeline with distribution around Halloween, but the donations kept coming in. Now, they've visited Open Door multiple times to drop off donations.
Thrasher employee Dylan Hagen and other employees began taking their kids along and even received a facility tour. He said, "I think it's important to help kids understand that people need help sometimes." He added, "It makes me feel good to give back! I always end up feeling 'filled up' by the experience. It's a bonus beyond the value to the recipient. We're proud to be a part of Wichita and to be a part of the solution." Shae Mapes added, "The team did an amazing job coming together to help provide for the community!"
Food Drive in Des Moines
When derecho winds flattened much of Iowa in August of 2020, Thrasher Customer Care rep Jessica Moen saw an opportunity to help her community while imparting a valuable lesson to her kids. They helped neighbors clean up downed tree branches and offered beverages to those without power.
One of their neighbors is Trinity United Methodist Church in Des Moines.
Jessica and her kids enjoyed the experience and the positive feelings they received helping their neighbors. They talked with church officials about additional opportunities to help. Trinity UMC has been providing meals to those affected by COVID-19 and is always looking for help, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners coming up. Jessica approached her manager, Fred Hoffman and General Manager Eric Love, and they roundly encouraged her to 'go for it.'
So, for the first time, Jessica organized a Food Drive. She grew up in the Trinity community and participated in their programs. Now her kids harvest and distribute food from a garden the church tends. She's come full circle. "I want to set an example for my kids. There's always someone who needs help. It's a great lesson as a Mom."
Accounting for Others
Thrasher's Accounting and Finance team in Omaha adopted the Open Door Mission for a team community project. They worked with Gwynn Gonnerman at the mission, who recommended that assembling lunches would be a big help due to the challenges of COVID-19.
The team jumped on their assignment and put 500 lunches together, consisting of a sandwich, chips, fruit cup and granola bar. They bought the food and bags and assembled the lunches. Since it was close to Halloween, they included temporary Halloween tattoos and wrote notes of encouragement and some silly Halloween puns to put in each bag.
It benefited the school children living at the Open Door Mission. A total of 13 people worked on the project.
Thrasher Controller Michon Bowen said, "With everything going on, the Open Door's mission is hectic, so this was a big help to them. I am so grateful to be working for a company that cares for the people in our community. We filled three SUVs with lunches!"
Community Day in Council Bluffs
This year, Thrasher Foundation Repair had more than 70 employees from Omaha and Sioux City participate in a project to honor one of our values of One Community. We felt moved by the story of a family in need in our own backyard. Under the circumstances, we felt called to bring some peace-of-mind to this family during a time of loss. The day-long event included services Thrasher does every day, like repairing foundation walls and lifting concrete. In addition, employees helped with sorting and storing personal items, sharing empathy and understanding. We contributed landscaping and added a memorial Butterfly Garden, as well as custom-created yard furniture.
Marketing Manager Brad Argo was one of the organizers of the day. He felt one of the most important outcomes was the space it made for the family. "I believe it allowed the family to be able to grieve rather than be consumed by worry about fixing their home," he said. "I think it was cool to see different Thrasher employees give back on a Saturday and experience what we do daily. Plus, they were able to meet the family and allow themselves to experience their gratitude."
The Thrasher family has a history of quietly giving back to the community. But to say they are proud of how their employees have recognized their gratefulness would be an understatement. "We want to hire and develop people that recognize how blessed they are. It's inspiring when we see our employees rally around a project and live it out," said Dan Thrasher, President. "It's that intentional passion - without it being company-mandated - that makes us proud. Bonding together and doing good in the world brings our team even closer."
We trust that it brings our communities closer, too.