Gift donations (top) to the Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center last year helped countless families in the region. Clients of Interfaith, which services both Susquehanna and Wyoming counties, were among those who that benefited from Cabot’s Holiday Helper Fund this year. This graphic above shows how their share of the funds collected helped the people in our community.
This year of hardship for so many also brought out the best among those people and businesses that were in a position to help others. Though the 2020 toy drive by Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation was unlike any before it, their partners in the natural gas industry and many individuals helped the company conduct the most successful collection to date with donations of more than $30,000.
With all of the restrictions in place, and for the safety of everyone involved, a decidedly different approach was taken this year. While regular participants missed their annual shopping trip to WalMart, when Cabot employees and representatives of participating companies fan out across the store to fill wish lists, they were able to put the funds to good use in the community with the help of philanthropic agencies.
The Holiday Helper Fund was developed with Commonwealth Charitable Management (CCM) to which contributors could donate directly. CCM, in turn, dispersed the money to Interfaith of Susquehanna County, Interfaith Friends in Wyoming County, and the Wayne County Children’s Christmas Bureau. “There was great response to the program, and we were happy to be part of it,” CCM director of programming Melissa Turlip remarked.
Some companies, including United Drilling, ATI Industries, Oil States Energy Services, Varsity Inc., and Susquehanna Services earmarked their donations directly to Susquehanna County Interfaith, while Remembrance innovation Progression, Inc. (RiP USA), and a private donor focused their contributions on residents in need in Wyoming County. Postupak Painting of Wilkes-Barre donated funds for both counties.
“We have been blessed beyond measure. Forty percent of our donors were new this year,” Interfaith executive director Cynthia Beeman told us. “We served almost 200 more families, many of which were multi-generational because of job loss due to the pandemic.”
All Interfaith clients received bags of food. Adults received quilts and an ornament for their trees, and children received several toys, winter wear and, as Beeman put it, “the joy of knowing people cared for them.”
Toys purchased by representatives from Hartman & Hartman Inc., Franks International, and Superior Energy Services were donated to the Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center (SCCTC). Students there coordinate a gift drive every year for families in need within their respective school districts.
“It is so comforting to know that, in the midst of so much uncertainty, we can still count on these many businesses and corporations to step up and help the growing number of families who have been adversely affected by the pandemic,” said Cabot manger of external affairs Bill desRosiers. “And we look forward to a holiday season when we can get together and return to a hands-on approach to putting toys under trees and food in families’ cupboards.”