Yesterday, December 20th, Gold Dust held its annual office Christmas party at Bill and Jan’s house just north of our campus. The atmosphere was merry and there was lots of laughs and cheer over the white elephant gift exchange. Good food, good times and great people always make the holidays a special time of year!
While on the topic of great people, Gold Dust and Walker Farms are blessed to work with the most generous folks. If you look through our farm’s blog, you’ll find post after post about giving and donating. This year alone our companies and the people who help us succeed raised $31,000 and 135,000 airline miles for Make-A-Wish Oregon. So, it goes without saying that when the holidays roll around, we also experience the generosity of the people coming and going from our packing shed.
Photo credits Lexi Crawford
Years past, we’ve held food drives for the Klamath and Lake County Food Bank and adopted a family for Christmas. More recently, we’ve been holding toy drives for our local Toys For Tots. For example, last year between what our employees donated and what the company matched, we were able to fill the back of Tricia AND Lexi’s SUVs! This year, with Nayeli Pena leading the charge, we held another successful toy drive for Toys For Tots.
And this year was amazing! As usual, our farm, shed and office crews contributed with toys and cash. Truck drivers that work for the various carriers that deliver our chipping potatoes and hay to our customers also contributed. Then our growers stepped up, with Luke Robison’s family donating $500. Our office was filled with toys and bicycles, and the cash donation bucket was filled with a variety of bills. Overall, 25 toys, four bicycles and around $1,000 was donated by the incredibly generous people we work and do business with. And yes, Gold Dust and Walker Farms matched it!
On Tuesday, December 19th, Tricia and her husband made the trek to Fred Meyers in Klamath Falls to fulfill Gold Dust’s end of the bargain. Fred Meyer’s manager also stepped up, offering discounts to help our contributions go even further. In the end, we were able to drop off 161 gifts to the Klamath Falls Toys For Tots.
That donation was very much needed. When dropping off the gifts, one of the Toys For Tots volunteers told Tricia that this year they were trying to provide gifts for 2,000 local kids – 500 more than they expected. When you consider how many households are in the Klamath Basin, that’s a lot of families that are affected. All the donations to the Klamath Falls Toys For Tots program stay local – which means when you give a gift in our community, it stays in our community.
Along with Toys For Tots, we also donated truck loads of potatoes to area charity groups and organizations. Those groups included Integral Youth Services, Women Infant Health, Malin City Hall, Tulelake-Newell Family Center, Klamath KID Center, Klamath Lake Community Actions, Henley High School FFA, Bonanza High School FFA, Bonanza Community Church, Livingsprings Church, Klamath Senior Center, Faith Tabernacle Church and Marta’s House in Klamath Falls. All of these organizations give back to community and we’re happy that we’re able to help them with their causes during the holidays.
We are proud of our employees and the people we do business with and the amount of generosity they showed with this year’s giving. Though we focused our holiday giving on our local Toys For Tots, there are lots of other ways to help. Consider those 2,000 children – their families likely also need help providing food, paying the power bill and more. Whether you slip something into one of the Salvation Army’s red kettles or take canned food to the Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank (you can donate online too!), every little bit helps someone in our community.
Before we wrap this up and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year, we’d like to give Nayeli a big thank you for her work on this. We’d also like to thank Luke Robison’s family for their generous donation and to thank everyone who donated cash or toys. We’d also like say thank you to the Fred Meyer’s managers and cashier who helped make our donations go further. And of course, thank you to Toys For Tots for providing the spirit of Christmas to kids in our community. When you think about our company slogan, “where together we grow”, it’s evident that it extends beyond our sheds and farm and into the community as well. It’s part of what makes the Klamath Basin a great place to live.
And now, may everyone have a happy and safe holiday season and here’s to an amazing 2018!