In these uncertain and challenging times, Southwire’s long-standing tradition of Giving Back is stronger now than ever before. In that spirit, we are pleased to announce that we are expanding our giving efforts throughout 2020 in response to COVID-19 with a focus on hunger, education and hope for the holidays.
“Southwire has always sought to give back and improve the quality of life in the communities in which we live and work,” said Rich Stinson, Southwire’s president and CEO. “Our commitment to expand our giving efforts to help support COVID-19 relief builds upon our company’s principle of supporting those in need with our time, talent and financial resources, and we are pleased to join others who share this vision as we all continue to respond to this global challenge.”
Southwire’s donation, totaling $1 million, will be made in three phases, which focus on hunger, education and hope for the holidays. These donations will be divided out through the rest of the year and will provide meals, school supplies and more. The first phase of giving will be activated in the early summer months and will provide families in need with meals. As of April 30, more than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment, and 55 million students are out of school – many of whom rely on school meals.
Southwire will be donating a total of $500,000 to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, and other similar international organizations in our Giving Back communities. For every dollar given, Feeding America provides 10 meals to those in need.
The second phase of the donation will take place in late summer and will connect with Southwire’s continued commitment to education and our annual Back to School event. For the past 16 years, Southwire has held Back to School events at many Giving Back communities across the company, but this year’s efforts will have a larger impact than ever before through a committed contribution of $250,000. With this commitment, we will be able provide more than 25,000 bags of free school supplies to families and children in our local communities who need them most.
“We are in truly unprecedented times, and our leaders recognize that, now more than ever, we must find a way to support our communities,” said Kristian Whittington, manager of communication and engagement. “We are not reinventing the wheel; rather, we are increasing our existing Giving Back efforts because there is a much larger need. This is one of the largest donations we’ve ever done, and I’m incredibly proud to see it come to fruition at a time when our nation and world need it most.”
The third, and final, phase of the donation focuses on hope for the holidays and will take place during the months of November and December. We know that the economic impact of COVID-19 on families won’t subside quickly. With that in mind, this phase of giving allows us to consider expanded ways to provide support, gifts and hope to our communities during the holiday season. Each of Southwire’s 23 Giving Back communities will work with local organizations to identify specific needs at the time.
Many of Southwire’s community volunteerism and giving efforts flow through our non-profit organization, Project GIFT®, which stands for Giving Inspiration for Tomorrow. Project GIFT began 15 years ago when a team of 10 employee volunteers traveled to Waveland, Miss., to assist with a Christmas event planned for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Since then, Project GIFT has grown from 10 to more than 1,200 employee volunteers and has created a footprint of 23 Giving Back communities around the world. Based on the CDC recommendations for social distancing at the time of giving, and if there is an option to do so safely, Southwire’s Project GIFT volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in these initiatives.
“Project GIFT is an amazing outlet for employees in the Southwire family who have giving hearts and want to be able to share their talents and resources with others in our communities,” said Jodie Overmyer, Project GIFT coordinator from Bremen, Ind. “Giving Back looks a little different right now, but it is important that our efforts do not stop. With everything going on in these uncertain times, this donation will directly help those in need.”
These are challenging times for countless people across the globe, and Southwire believes in doing our part to give back. This commitment will be a historical highlight in Southwire’s 70 years of business and demonstrates our company’s dedication to partnering with organizations who are helping to revitalize and support communities around the world.
*Please note that the pictures in this article and video were taken prior to the US outbreak of COVID-19. Please excuse any reference that is no longer accurate, seemingly disrespectful or unhealthy due to general effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.