Networking, Christmas, and pipeline workers recently made a special connection to help local families. For nearly 30 years, the Christmas Gifts for Children program in Piketon, Ohio, has earned endearing support from hundreds of individuals, businesses and organizations to buy Christmas gifts for thousands of children. Just one conversation opened the door to a $30,000 donation for the program from generous donors who happened to be in town to work on the pipeline project.
Volunteer Danielle Stumbo saw an opportunity to ask for help and soon felt the Christmas spirit when her request was well-received.
“This year has presented many challenges as most of our fundraisers and toy drives are in-person social events,” Stumbo said.
“We reached out to many local businesses this year to ensure that we would have the funding to make Christmas a reality for every child provided to us. One business that stepped up to help turned out not to be a local business at all.”
“When we realized how short our funds were going to be due to the COVID impacts, all of our volunteers were asked to look for more ‘outside’ sources of funding. Dani requested donations from several area businesses but her idea to ask the contractors working on the pipeline was her, and the program’s biggest success. As a result, we are fully funded to be able to provide some excellent gifts for all of the children-in-need this Christmas.”
Price Gregory International was among many businesses working in on a pipeline project to install approximately 19 miles of 36-inch pipeline for a right-of-way in Jackson, Gallia, and Lawrence counties in Ohio. The group came into the area last spring to work. To show their appreciation and support of the local community, Price Gregory International donated $5,000 to the Christmas Gifts for Children program. On top of that donation, they challenged many of the other project groups to match: TC Energy Foundation, United Association Local 798, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Laborers Union of North America, and International Union of Operating Engineers. All agreed to match Price Gregory International’s donation for an amazing total of $30,000 for the Christmas Gifts for Children program.
Before the group headed home in early November, Stumbo thanked them in person for the donation. The group reiterated how good the community had been to them during their time in the area.
Project Manager Eric Pickett from Price Gregory International was instrumental in setting up the donations.
“Price Gregory would be honored to donate to this program and believe this type of community support enlightens the spirit in giving with everyone,” Pickett said.
The Christmas Gifts for Children program survives each year on generous donations and volunteers to provide gifts for local disadvantaged children. Last year, the program provided toys and clothing for 3,025 children in Jackson, Pike, Ross, Adams, and Scioto counties in Ohio and in Greenup, Ky.
The Christmas Gifts for Children group would like to personally thank the following individuals for helping to make this year special for so many underprivileged children in our area. From Price Gregory International — Eric Pickett (Project Manager), Todd Burleson (Superintendent), Wyatt Wahlbrink (Assistant Superintendent), Don Fleming (Safety), and Karen Curlee (Office Manager); from TC Energy Foundation — Sean Van Horn (Construction Manager), and Camille Schutte (Field Office Manager). We would also like to thank the various union representatives who have contributed $20,000 to our program — Ted Johnston (Labor Steward), Jeremy Padgett (Local 798 Welder Foreman), Kelly Howerton (Local 798 Steward), Randy Totman – (Local 18 Operating Engineers Steward), and Andrew Shaw (Teamster Steward Local 284).