Iowa DOTers help those in need

Food-Drive-LogoHumans need to interact socially. It’s in our nature. When that social interaction also helps others, the benefits grow even larger. At the Iowa DOT, one way employees are encouraged to interact and give back is through the All for One Committee, promoting an employee food drive and Toys for Tots campaign, among other initiatives.

Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino III, said, “The DOT's All for One Committee plans activities throughout the year making it easy for employees to give back to our communities. The Management Team recognizes that giving back not only makes a difference in the lives of the people you are helping, but also has a positive effect on the attitudes and health of the person giving back.” 

The Iowa DOT’s recent food drive week in April was a way for employees to connect with each other and also give back. All for One Committee Chairperson Deanne Popp said, “For many of us, it is tough to imagine not having enough food to eat. This event brings us together and helps us realize that there are families in our own communities who regularly struggle with hunger.”

Many of the nearly 900 Iowa DOT employees based in Ames participated in activities to raise money and collect food for 17 small central Iowa food pantries. This year, events included a jewelry and accessory sale where employees donated new or gently used items that were resold to other employees. Two lunch events brought donations from selling walking tacos and pizza. 

Throughout the year, employees participate in other activities that benefit both the food drive and Toys for Tots campaigns. These include an online auction of DOT-donated items in October; a farmers market held the second Wednesday of each month from May through September; popcorn sales once each month; and office-specific bake sales, auctions, and other events held at various times.

During the 2014 food drive, Ames-based employees raised a total of
$7,731.27 throughout the past year. Because of employee efforts, each of the 17 small food pantries across central Iowa received a check for $454.78, as well as one box of donated food and personal care items. 

While this event was an Ames-based effort, all Iowa DOT locations are encouraged to develop ways to give back to their communities. If you have an interest in exploring ways to give back, contact Deanne Popp at 515-239-1527 or [email protected], or Zhaia Mergen at 515-239-1807 or [email protected]

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