October 14, 2016:
J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) has made a $20,000 contribution to this year’s United Way Campaign in Saint John. The contribution of $20,000 from JDI will be given to two organizations making a difference in the lives of youth in the Saint John community; Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club.
Wendy MacDermott, Executive Director of United Way Saint John said the United Way works with charities that create the most impact on the community. “The charities we work with do amazing work day in day out,” MacDermott said. “Not only do they have big hearts, they also have a big impact; they’re effective. They help transform lives to make Saint John a better place.”
Last year’s United Way campaign raised over $1,470,000 – the most in 30 years. The record was broken by 5,000 individuals, workplaces, unions, and foundations that gave to the United Way Saint John, Kings and Charlotte in 2015. With a total donation of over $80,000, J.D. Irving, Limited was recognized as one of the top five companies who contributed to the 2015 campaign.
Meagin Husiman, Group Program Mentoring Coordinator with Big Brothers Big Sisters said the donation will be used to support their traditional match program, partnering a student with an adult in the community. “The impact that we’re seeing in children is increased confidence and resiliency,” said Husiman. “These mentorship matches are connections that last for years and several JDI employees are long-term mentors to children in Saint John.”
Amy Shanks, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club Saint John, said that JDI financial and employee volunteer contribution of time is vital to programming. “This donation, combined with the volunteer time from several JDI allows us to serve 80 to 100 children a healthy, hot lunch each school day."
Through JDI’s internationally-recognized PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) program, JDI employees volunteer their time helping children in their local community through literacy programs, and organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls club.
Katie Housman has worked for JDI for the last three years as a Client Services Coordinator. Shortly after starting her career with JDI, Housman decided to volunteer during her lunch hour with the nearby Boys and Girls Club. “Knowing the company I’m part of has given $10,000 to a program I volunteer with means a lot,” Houseman said.
Brittany Cunningham agrees. Cunningham, a Credit Associate for JDI, has volunteered as a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for the past year. “I love being a mentor. I know it’s special for kids to have another person they can go to for support. It’s great to see the organization I work for donate to a group that has such a positive impact on Saint John kids.”
See how JDI company Midland Transport rallied community support for United Way in Moncton with Midland’s Pulling for United Way – Truck Pull.
About PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools)
PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) is an internationally and nationally honoured anti-poverty initiative, founded by Mr. J.K. Irving in 2000. What began with one school and one business partner has grown to 23 schools and over 140 partners and continues to grow! Hundreds of PALS volunteers are now working with our students and our schools to make a positive impact in their lives. Students are supported by JDI employee mentors who volunteer up to two hours a week during their work day helping the students with reading, math skills, sports, music and more.