CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo,
Dec. 19, 2003 – Facilities Management employees at Southeast Missouri State University recently raised and donated more than $3,000 for Toybox, Toys for Tots, Christmas for the Elderly, Cottonwood Treatment Center and Girardot Center for Youth and Family.
“It’s been fabulous,” said Kim King, Facilities Management operations manager. “Everybody was willing to help.”
Facilities Management, which is responsible for all facilities planning and construction on campus as well as operations and maintenance of all University facilities and grounds, recently raised the funds through two special drawings. They donated $875 each to Toys for Tots, Toybox and Christmas for the Elderly, and $250 each to Cottonwood Treatment Center and Girardot Center for Youth and Family to buy holiday gifts for the children they serve.
The department’s artisans built coffee tables, bookshelves, wardrobes and quilt trunks to be given away via the drawing. Other staff members on campus also donated homemade pieces for the drawing, including Julie Grueneberg, assistant registrar, who crocheted an afghan, and Karen Staat in the Center for Health and Counseling, who quilted a table runner. In total, the drawing netted $2,600.
“For them to put their spare time into those projects, that is just amazing,” King said. “The workmanship is excellent.”
In a second drawing for a combination power tool set donated by Elias Hardware, Facilities Management raised an additional $450.
Toybox and Christmas for the Elderly are programs sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Jaycees to support the city’s needy children and elderly. Toys for Tots is a holiday project sponsored by the Marine Corps League.
King said the effort to help local charities during the holidays originated several years ago within the department, which routinely rallies to support difficulties faced by co-workers and their families.
“Everybody has always pulled together with whatever our needs might be,” she said. “We thought maybe this could be something bigger.”
In the spirit of giving, Facilities Management formed a Community Service Committee about three years ago. The committee works to meet the needs of those less fortunate throughout the year. The committee began sponsoring monthly “hot dog feeds” with donations going to support supplies needed for building and staining the wood craft items for what has become an annual holiday drawing, he said.
“We’re pretty lucky to have the jobs and co-worker spirit that we have,” King said. “We’re just a good, big family.”
John Haney, a cabinet maker and chair of the Facilities Management Community Service Committee, said, “We need to take care of the less fortunate. It has been a pleasure doing it, and we hope to continue it. It’s been great. The whole University family really worked hard on this and the community was generous with other materials. We hope to continue to get more people involved with it and that it continues to get bigger every year.”