Thanksgiving Food Drive allowed me to help our community and do some team building during a tough year

Thanksgiving Food Drive allowed me to help our community and do some team building during a tough year

3 mins

My wife, Molly, and I had attended Crossroads Lexington before we moved to Indianapolis for a few years and eventually back to Columbus in 2019. We were searching for a church home and bounced around trying to find our place when we found out from our friends in Lexington that Crossroads was planting a site in Columbus, so we started getting involved. I work in leadership at a local hotel and our company participates in a lot of community fundraising and other efforts trying to give back to our communities that surround our hotels. One thing we do is called Share Day where every year all of our affiliated hotels in the U.S. and Canada (140+) give back to the community through various activities. Our hotel works with Feed the Children and helps pass out meals in November as well as other nonprofit organizations in Columbus to provide things like food, books, and blankets for families and kids in need.

We found our hotel family in some desperate need in 2020 when we learned we would close the hotel for 4 months. We furloughed more than 140 of our employees that year. We were doing a lot as a hotel to provide food and resources to our staff and their families but our leadership team decided we still wanted to do something over and above what we had already done as a company to give back.

Vicki, our community pastor, had told me about Thanksgiving Food Drive, and our leadership team decided to do a competition between each department in the hotel to each fill a box spending the smallest amount of money within three hours. The hotel gave each team $25 and the shopping list for a Thanksgiving Food Drive box. Some of the teams got creative, raiding their homes and their families’ homes for canned goods and other food items that were on the list. One team even gave back $24 out of the $25 they were given! I think we spent about $200 in total as some teams overspent using personal money on the eight total boxes that our team filled. It was good teambuilding but also rewarding to give back to the community during a time of need in our hotel family. We’re in the service industry, so anything we can do to take care of people is rewarding for us and we look forward to doing it again this year. It’s awesome when you can feel good about doing the simplest of things that help people less fortunate. __-Ralph M. __

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