A Christmas gift from JBS, union

A Christmas gift from JBS, union
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A Christmas gift from JBS, union

A Christmas gift comes at a good time for local nonprofits, which have a lot of needs this time of year.

On Monday, JBS and a union that represents many JBS employees awarded five Grand Island nonprofits a total of almost $8,000. The checks were presented by Gabby Dawes of JBS and Derek Stanton Sr., a representative of Local 293 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

The Salvation Army, which received $1,000, will use the money “to support our meal program,” said Lt. Wayne Benedict.

The money is needed “because the numbers have skyrocketed,” Benedict said. The amount of people dining at the Salvation Army has increased over the last two or three months.

The $1,000 received by Hope Harbor will go toward the shelter program’s expenses.

As of Monday, only one room was available at Hope Harbor. “We’re close to capacity,” said Executive Director Liz Mayfield, adding that it’s “a very busy time of year for us.”

So Hope Harbor is very excited to get funds “to help our shelter program,” Mayfield said.

The money also “helps us with all that year-end budget-crunching that we have to do,” she said.

Lindsey Robison said the $1,000 presented to Head Start will be used to help “out some of our families with food and necessities.”

The $1,000 given to the Literacy Council of Grand Island will be spent on books and curriculum. Those served by the Literacy Council include adults who are learning English.

“So it’s a great resource for us, to be able to buy materials for them,” said Executive Director Tiffany Hartford.

The biggest share of the money, almost $3,000, was given to Heartland United Way.

Karen Rathke of United Way says the money will be used for the Toys for Tots program.

Toys will be distributed to area families on Friday. Heartland United Way collaborates on the annual program with the Marines Corp. This year, KSNB-TV’s Present Patrol is also involved with Toys for Tots.

Dawes said JBS is “just happy and excited to be part of it.” The meatpacker and the union “want to give back to the community” and “it’s an excellent program,” said Dawes, who is JBS’ human resources manager.

Contributions to the multicultural fund have been part of the JBS contract with the union for a few years, Stanton said.

“For the UFCW , this is the beginning of trying to build a bigger relationship within the community נtrying to be a bigger part of the community because of the people that work at JBS,” said Stanton, who lives in Crete.

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