Thursday, April 30, 2020

‘Helping one another’ at Schwan’s Company

Employees step up and help their communities during COVID-19

May 1, 2020 — When difficult situations arise, so do heroes. At Schwan’s Company, one of our long-standing values has always been “helping one another.” During this unprecedented time, we’ve received word of several employees throughout the organization stepping up in their communities and helping others in need.

Grateful for their efforts at Schwan’s and in their communities, these are their stories:

Napolitano and Gaalswyk help local communities

Local hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country have put the call out for medical supplies — especially protective equipment like face masks for its workers and patients. In Northern California, Senior Director of Sales and Industry Relations Leslie Napolitano heard that call and jumped into action. She sewed several dozen face masks and delivered them to two hospitals in her community.

For Business Services Coordinator Brenda Gaalswyk, healthcare workers hold a special place in her heart. Two of Brenda’s three children are nurses and their spouses are a nurse and a first responder.

As an avid quilter, Brenda knew she could help by putting her sewing skills to use. In Marshall, Minnesota, Brenda sewed several masks and delivered them to healthcare workers and caregivers on the frontlines of COVID-19.

“I know in our work culture, this is considered ‘helping one another.’ There are so many others doing the same thing I am — and more — but I told my friend Melinda that when I realized I was going to make these and make a difference, it just made my heart happy,” Brenda said.

McDonald loads meals for Wisconsin families

Regional Sales Manager Doug McDonald volunteered with Feeding America Wisconsin to help distribute pre-boxed weekly food rations to families in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. When he arrived to volunteer, there was a two-mile line of cars waiting to receive food. Doug loaded 50 pounds of dried goods in the trunk of every family in line. During this activity, Doug helped serve 280 families in need.

Del Nano volunteers with Elks Club to help club members in need

National Account Manager Tony Del Nano is an active member in his community’s Elks Club. COVID-19 has put a strain on the group’s tight-knit membership community and left many members asking how they can help.

Tony along with other volunteers in his membership community organized a nonperishable food and supplies drive for their members in need. The Elks Club started their campaign by sending out an email to all membership asking for any and all donations that could be spared. They also set up public-donation collection bins at the club that are checked daily.

Tony said they also organized a committee to help sort the food and supplies to create “family kits” based on need. Once sorted into kits, another group of Elks members deliver the cases to members.

Tony and his Elks Club members collected an estimated 500 pounds of food in the first week. They also built and delivered at least 25 family kits. The campaign has entered its second week and is still going strong.

Spasoff helps ICU nurse with housing

Through a Facebook group called “RVs4MDs,” Route Sales Specialist Paul Spasoff and his wife donated use of their camper to an ICU nurse. The Facebook group is helping medical workers find mobile homes to use as temporary housing, so they do not risk infecting their families.

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