Season of Giving: DFA Members, Employees Lend a Helping Hand

December 21, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – This holiday season, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) members and employees are demonstrating the Cooperative’s core value of community by helping those in need. Through donations, holiday gift trees, events and more, employees from coast to coast are making a difference. A snapshot of DFA's community giving activities from across the nation follows.

Central Area and Kansas City Headquarters
A variety of activities such as a soup day, bake sale, jeans days and a chili cook-off contest raised more than $3,200 for Synergy Services, Inc., which assists women and children who are victims of abuse. Money collected was used to purchase toys and clothing for Synergy Services’ holiday store. Employees also collected and donated seven boxes of household and personal care items and purchased more than 200 Angel Tree items (toys, clothes, books, etc.).

In addition, DFA continued its year-long partnership with Harvesters Community Food Network. Staff volunteered their time sorting and packaging food and household items at the food bank.

Mideast Area
Employees at DFA’s Medina, Ohio, office raised more than $450 through a Christmas tree raffle. Connie Finton, a DFA Mideast Area delegate, has donated an elaborately decorated Christmas tree for more than 15 years. The raffle’s proceeds benefit a DFA member in need.

Mountain Area
At DFA’s recent Young Cooperator Conference in Salt Lake City, 150 humanitarian kits were assembled. The kits, which include personal care products, will be donated to the Utah Food Bank to help those in need throughout the state.

Northeast Area
DFA’s Northeast Area made a donation to Heifer International, an organization dedicated to working with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. They also participated in the Syracuse, N.Y.-based Christmas Bureau collection by donating food, toys and clothing. Employees at DFA’s Mechanicsburg, Pa., plant donated toys, personal items and money for a Holiday Gift Tree, sponsored by New Hope Ministries, to help local families in need.

Southeast Area
At the Knoxville, Tenn., DFA office, employees raised more than $6,700 to share among 10 non-profit organizations that benefit area community members in need of assistance.

Employees also filled several barrels with food and household items for the Mission of Hope, an organization that helps people in need in the Appalachian area, and volunteered to help fill baskets for the Empty Stocking Fund, which provides food for less fortunate families and a new toy and book for children.

In a combined effort among DFA’s Springfield, Mo., plant, Innovation Center, Quality Assurance and Compliance, Tampa Street offices and Community Financial Credit Union employees, fundraising events are hosted year-round to benefit two area elementary schools. Students at a Springfield-area school were given socks and backpacks with gloves, hats and ear warmers. In addition, students enjoyed a party with a visit from Santa, as well as games, toys, coloring books and more. Employees also donated supplies for students to make holiday ornaments to a school in Springfield.

Southwest Area
In Grapevine, Texas, staff held a collection drive for toys to donate to the local Toys for Tots program. The Area’s Clovis, N.M., office held a Christmas party and brought donations for a local food bank in lieu of gifts. The office also donated funds to the local U.S. Air Force base. Employees at the Cooperative’s Schulenburg, Texas, plant participated in the Deputy Santa collection, a toy drive sponsored by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department that provides toys to area children in need.

Western Area
DFA’s Hughson, Calif., plant employees held a food drive for the Hughson Community Service Center. Two barrels of non-perishable food items were collected.