Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Melaleuca delivers tons of food to 13 families in dire straits

Melaleuca and its employees have done their part this holiday season, donating 1,000 cans of food to the Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen, 5.5 tons of food to 13 individual families, 500 Christmas gifts to the Salvation Army and a $1,000 in-kind donation to St. Vincent de Paul's Christmas Basket Project.

This is the 13th year the company has donated food to families who are suffering extreme hardship. Employees had confidentially identified eight families in Idaho and five in Knoxville, Tenn., where the company also operates. Each family received a three-month supply of non-perishable food, 40 pounds of meat, new clothing and toys for the children.

"These families were overcome with emotion and gratitude," said Melaleuca employee Heidi Weiers, who chairs the company's food drive committee. "At one home, there was a 9-year-old girl who helped us unpack the 16 boxes of food we brought over. Her father is on an organ donor list and has a lot of medical bills, so she wasn't expecting to receive a single Christmas present. She was overjoyed for her little brothers and sisters because we'd brought bananas and oranges, her brother's favorite fruits, and diapers for the baby, which they couldn't afford."

Melaleuca employees also participated in The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program, purchasing Christmas gifts for hundreds of children. They placed gift cards, toys, clothing, video games and art supplies under Christmas trees at the company's facilities. Many of these gifts came from Melaleuca call center employees who exchanged some or all of their December bonus checks for presents.

"Melaleuca is a wonderful example of a good corporate citizen," said Maj. James Halverson of the Salvation Army. “Not only is the leadership team generous, but their employees also get involved in serving others.”

Additionally, Melaleuca supported the Christmas Basket Project, a philanthropic effort led by St. Vincent de Paul, the Idaho Falls Catholic Community, and First Presbyterian Church. The company made an in-kind donation valued at $1,000 to the campaign, which delivers food and Christmas gifts to more than 400 families.