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January 27, 2010 > Cargill Salt Employees Shop and Cook for Homeless

Cargill Salt Employees Shop and Cook for Homeless

What do 18 chemists, machinists, accountants, quality control managers, shipping clerks, salespeople, plant managers, office, and factory workers have in common?
They all were willing to take time off from work to go on a $3000 shopping spree, paid for by Cargill Salt, to purchase family necessities for the residents of Sunrise Village, a homeless shelter run by Abode Services in Fremont.

"We had a lot of fun shopping together as a team with a common goal," said salt saleswoman Melissa Woodside, who helped organize the shopping spree through the local Cargill Cares Council, a committee of employees at the Newark salt plant who are dedicated to helping the local community.

"We carpooled over to Target at NewPark Mall because it is close by and had the whole gamut of things on Sunrise's wish list: diapers, bedding, sweatpants, baby strollers, you-name-it," said Woodside.

"Once we got there, the men headed off to get the big things, while the women picked out the baby stuff. In about an hour, we had 14 carts lined up - and our own dedicated checker! We felt like VIPs at Target -- a great way to shop!"
Shoppers were: Lisa Airth, Jillian Bailles d'Err, Fred Ball, Deb Brothers, Sheila Chandy, Aileen Fox, Vince Galardi, Andy Griggel, Walter Henderson, Kiran Mehta, Linda Murillo, Chris Parker, Daniel Ruiz, Diane Swenson, Mosa Tatakamotonga, Austin Willey, and Melissa Woodside.

A few days later, more Cargill employees met at Sunrise Village to clean and organize the communal kitchen and cook residents and staff a hearty lasagna lunch.
The kitchen crew included: Theresa Brandl, Deb Brothers, Mike Carlton, Ray Celaya, Sheila Chandy, Michele Donahue, Nicole Durch, Aileen Fox, Linda Murillo, David Peraza, Pam Rowe, Bret Schuttpelz, and Melissa Woodside.

"It was very gratifying," said Aileen Fox. "At Sunrise, the residents are treated with dignity. You can see they have a real chance to work their way back up the ladder."

Cargill 's recently formed Cargill Cares Council, an employee committee dedicated to community service, chose to support Sunrise Village after conducting an employee survey in which families in need were identified as the top priority. "The economic downturn has affected so many people who may have been in the middle class last year, but have lost their jobs and are truly struggling. I think we all identified with them in a way, and we were really glad, with Cargill's help, we could to give them a little boost," said Woodside.


VIP Shopping - gets you your own dedicated check out line at Target.


Packing up $3000 worth of family necessities took a couple of trips.

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