The Finger Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross hosted a news conference April 29 to announce how Kraft Foods Group’s 2015 “Make an Impact” program will benefit area residents who need Red Cross services following a home fire, flood or another disaster.
As part of Kraft’s nationwide “Make an Impact” program that celebrates volunteer service, every Kraft facility had the opportunity in April to participate in service projects to support non-profit organizations that serve local communities. In addition to planting trees at Ridge Road Elementary School in Horseheads, the Kraft/Polly-O Dairy facility in Campbell (Steuben County) agreed to build American Red Cross comfort kits that are distributed to area residents who are displaced from their homes by a disaster.
After initially planning on 250 kits, Kraft-Campbell Community Champion Jolene Deragon contacted Kraft’s Corporate Community Involvement Team and asked for more supplies. Kraft’s Corporate Team sent items for more than 900 kits, and the dedicated and enthusiastic Kraft employees in Campbell recently assembled 908 kits within three hours – on Deragon’s birthday.
“Several employees joked that my birthday was the reason for them helping; I’ll take that as a great incentive to see our employees come together to support our community!” Deragon said. “The Red Cross always comes through for those in need, so we’re proud that Kraft-Campbell could give our support to such a worthwhile organization.”
The comfort kits contain toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and other personal hygiene items. Kits are distributed to victims of emergencies ranging from house fires to large disasters such as the flooding in Penn Yan last May. The kits will be distributed to residents in the Finger Lakes Chapter’s six counties: Schuyler, Steuben, Chemung, Seneca, Yates and Wayne.
“We’d like to thank our partners at Kraft-Campbell and their employees for thinking of the Red Cross for their ‘Make an Impact’ program this year,” said Joel Robinson, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Finger Lakes Chapter. “These comfort kits are provided to people whose lives have been turned upside down and they truly provide comfort in the moment and hope that they’ll soon be on the road to recovery.”
Main photo: American Red Cross Finger Lakes Chapter Executive Director Joel Robinson (center) at the April 29 news conference to announce Kraft's donation of 908 comfort kits. Joining Joel are Red Cross volunteers Vince Giannini and Arlene Heffner (left) and Kraft Plant Manager Joe Box, employee Lindsay Reardon and Community Champion Jolene Deragon (right).
Community Happenings image: Kraft employees Mark Dexter, Garrett Schoener, Samantha Maldonado, Sean Johnson, Alex Eastham, Greg Houck, and Lindsay Reardon display Red Cross comfort kits.