Springfield Employees Deliver Goodies to Local Students

December 22, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Throughout this holiday season, employees of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) have worked to demonstrate the Cooperative’s value of community. Today Springfield DFA employees are delivering goodies to first-grade students at York Elementary as part of their annual Shoe Box Santa Program.

Funds raised throughout the year are used to help fill backpacks with gloves, hats and ear warmers. In addition, the students receive a game, toy, coloring books, a $20 gift card to a local grocery store and more.

The program began several years back, when the school district provided shoe boxes and suggested filling them with items for the school children. Instead, DFA responded by donating boxes from the Springfield Cheese Store, which were bigger and allowed for more uniform donations to each child than the shoe boxes of various shapes and sizes.

“The program evolved from that point to supplying mittens for the students, then coloring books and pencils, and is now a full-blown year-long preparation,” said Stacy Samson, who works in DFA’s accounting department and coordinates the Shoe Box Santa Program. “We also started using backpacks instead of boxes, so the students have new backpacks when they head back to school after the holiday break.”

Fundraising activities range from bake sales and casual dress days to the annual chili cook-off and a themed basket raffle. This year there were 26 entries in the chili cook-off, and employees assembled 41 themed baskets, which employees then raffled off for a total of $1,700.

The Springfield employees also collected non-perishable food and household items for Isabel’s House, a nursery where people who find themselves in a crisis situation can take their children for immediate refuge.