BRAWLEY â€“ National Beef Packing Company is continuing a tradition of helping out needy families in Imperial Valley.
Five years ago, National Beef started a program to help 50 needy families with boxes of food for Christmas.
Sherry Robertson, Lab Manager at National Beef, explained a little bit of their program.
â€œWe started out with fund-raisers at the plant,â€ said Robertson. â€œThe company donates the boxes, the meat, and other items for the project, as well as the time for us to do this. Over half of the families are in Brawley. The other families are throughout the Valley. We get the names of the families from the school district and other sources. We have increased the value of the boxes over the years. This year employees have donated over $3,000.â€
General Manager and CEO Brian Webb said, â€œThe first time we did this, we reached 50 families. It was so moving just to see families that really donâ€™t enjoy Christmas, from a monetary standpoint, as much as other families. We decided to help 100 families the 2nd year. Some of the stories the employees have upon returning from the deliveries are wonderful. When they open their box, the families are so excited. A family would receive a delivery and the home next door would be just as needy, but werenâ€™t on the list. One boy grabbed an orange and shared it with his neighbor friend.â€
â€œThe first year we had management do the deliveries, but it was so moving we got hourly employees involved and some of their kids,â€ said Webb. â€œThey get to experience this giving and maybe appreciate what their parents do every day to get them where they are at. We started with food and expanded the program to include warm clothing, gifts, and toys to make sure we put a big smile on a lot of faces. Everyone should experience this delivery of gifts. This really makes you appreciate what you have.â€
The receiving families are generally overwhelmed with gratitude upon receiving the gifts.
â€œOne mother broke down and cried when she opened the box,â€ said Robertson. â€œShe kept thanking Jesus and National Beef.â€
â€œIs this not the meaning of Christmas?â€ asked Webb. â€œWe are celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am sure that He is smiling down upon those that participate in this once-a-year activity in that we are taking care of our brothers and sisters in need. Every person that comes back from a Christmas delivery has a heartwarming or heartbreaking story to share. This makes us truly rethink our existence on this earth.â€[nggallery id=83]