The Salvation Army of Joliet has received a donation of nearly $27,000 from Bolingbrook-based G&W Electric through a mix of employee donations and a company match. The donation will be used to provide food and financial assistance for rent and utilities to those seeking support at the Joliet Corps Community Center.
G&W Electric has also supported the Army’s Angel Tree program which provides gifts and toys for children whose families are not able to afford them.
“At G&W Electric, we have a strong passion to support our local communities throughout Will County and continue to find news way to show our support,” said Kellie DePooter, Manager of Global Marketing for G&W Electric. “This opportunity with the Joliet Salvation Army allowed our employees to show their big hearts and eagerness to help in these trying times of Covid-19.”
“It is important for our company, employees, and family members to be a part of an organization that supports our local communities. It means so much to all of us at G&W Electric to see the positive impact our efforts bring to so many throughout the Will County area,” DePooter said.
“We are so grateful to G&W Electric, and its Chairman and CEO, John Mueller, for this amazing donation,” said Captain Wendy Faundez. She and her husband, Captain Dan, are officers at the Joliet Corps Community Center. “This donation means we can provide rent or utility assistance to at least an additional 20 households or food assistance to more than 50 households.”
The Salvation Army has seen a dramatic increase in requests for assistance in the Joliet area. They serve an average of 300 households every week – an increase of 500%. Part of the reason for the increase, Captain Wendy said, is many of the other food pantries in the area have closed. The Salvation Army pantry also provides meat, dairy, and fresh produce on a regular basis.
“People start lining up 90 minutes early,” said Captain Dan. “By the time we open the pantry, the line is at least three blocks long.” Captain Dan and Salvation Army volunteers visit each car to get basic information and spend time getting to know those who are looking for assistance. “We’re able to have great conversations with people – people who never had to ask for help before. They know we are here, and they won’t forget the help they received.”
Additionally, 100 G&W employees volunteered last summer with the Will County Habitat for Humanity team to help renovate a 3-bedroom home for a Joliet family and on May 1, 2020, the Stewart family moved into their new home (see lead image).