Charity Week 2015 Introductions: American Diabetes Association

Charity-Week-2015-squareIn honor of our 10th annual Charity Week, we’ve decided to give back to local charities that support causes close to our hearts. Since several of our employees are involved with different local charities, the four charities that we’ve selected as 2015 Charity Week recipients all have a member of the Allied family who is closely connected with each. The following blog post is the fourth and final blog post introducing the Allied employee who plays a role in the charity we’re donating to, as well as an overview of the charity in general.

The American Diabetes Association leads the fight against diabetes by helping those affected by the disease. The association spreads awareness and funds research to prevent and help cure diabetes. With a strong internet presence, the association is a key tool for those who are managing diabetes.

The manager of our branch in Florida, Chris Linton, has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for over twenty years. When he was younger, his family became concerned when he displayed frequent thirst and they reached out to his doctor. Chris was then diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at eight years old.

Because Chris was diagnosed at a young age, he’s adapted to his lifestyle with diabetes. While his diabetes isn’t a big concern in his daily life, organizations like the ADA do provide a plethora of information to those trying to manage the disease as well as those who are learning about their new diagnosis. The ADA’s website offers many recipes for cooking at home and how to manage going out to eat. They also include tips on how to incorporate fitness ADAinto your lifestyle.

Every year through new research, the ADA develops new products to help those diagnosed with diabetes live a healthy lifestyle, which Chris says he follows closely to keep up to date. The organization has events throughout the country in different communities by holding diabetes EXPOs, diabetes camps and fundraising events. The steps they take to fund research and provide knowledge to those with diabetes is something worth supporting.

We are pleased to give to an association that funds research of a deadly disease and helps find a cure. Consider helping this deserving charity and place an order during the week of December 14-18, and not only will a percentage of your order go to the American Diabetes Association, but it will also benefit three other worthy recipients as well. Read more about our 10th Annual Charity Week and help give back to those in our local community this holiday season.

Charity Week 2015 Introductions: Pets for Vets

Charity Week 2015In honor of our 10th annual Charity Week, we’ve decided to give back to local charities that support causes close to our hearts. Since several of our employees are involved with different local charities, the four charities that we’ve selected as 2015 Charity Week recipients all have a member of the Allied family who is closely connected with each. The following blog post is the third out of four blog posts introducing the Allied employee who plays a role in the charity we’re donating to, as well as an overview of the charity in general.

Pets for Vets is an organization dedicated to pairing returning war veterans with shelter dogs, as well as providing these shelter dogs with a second chance to be cared for by a loving owner. The organization is aware of the emotional wounds that soldiers return home with, and their mission is to provide these vets with a companion to help ease the process of returning home and getting acclimated to everyday life again. Likewise, Pets for Vets sees this partnership as a way for dogs who are living in shelters to be cared for again and given a second chancea reciprocal exchange for both the veteran and the dog that the organization calls a “win-win” situation.

Pets for Vets has branches located throughout the country, and they’re now in the final stages of opening their chapter in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Debbie Piergrossi, a warehouse supervisor at our Pennsylvania headquarters has recently been appointed as Pottstown’s chapter director, and she holds the charity very close to her heart for several reasons.

Debbie started working with Pets for Vets after stumbling upon an article about the organization. She wanted to get involved because she felt as if she could closely connect with their mission. Debbie is a certified dog trainer with a strong passion for animals, however the main reason for her involvement actually stems from the work that Pets for Vets does for the returning war veterans.

Pets for VetsDebbie’s son served in the U.S. Army, where he did a tour in Afghanistan. Like many soldiers, he returned home with PTSD, and Debbie explained how she first handedly experienced the ways in which PTSD can take a toll on an entire family. Pets for Vets has allowed for her to help veterans who are going through struggles similar to that of her son’s, and it has also given her the opportunity to care for the animals that she’s most passionate about.

As chapter director, Debbie’s duties include everything from interviewing the dog trainers that help train the dogs and get them acclimated to the life of a returning war vet, to holding meetings for volunteers and establishing relationships with local animal shelters. She explains that every part of the organization is important to her. From helping to give forgotten animals a second chance, to giving back to the men and women that served our country, she comments on the power of the human-animal bond and its extraordinary ability to “help to heal emotional wounds.”

Pets for Vets is a worthy organization that many people can connect to, whether because of a passion for animals, or the ability to relate to the struggles that returning veterans must endure, or maybe it’s a combination of both. Whatever it may be, we could not be more excited about the opportunity we have to give back to such an amazing organization during our 2015 Charity Week. We are beyond proud and thankful for all the work Debbie does for the charity, and we look forward to establishing a long-lasting relationship with Pets for Vets. To help support this deserving charity, place an order during the week of December 14-18, and not only will a percentage of your order go to Pets for Vets, but it will also benefit three other worthy recipients as well. Read more about our 10th Annual Charity Week and help give back to those in our local community this holiday season.

Charity Week 2015 Introductions: Shriners Hospitals for Children – Twin Cities

Charity-Week-2015-squareIn honor of our 10th annual Charity Week, we’ve decided to give back to local charities that support causes close to our hearts. Since several of our employees are involved with different local charities, the four charities that we’ve selected as 2015 Charity Week recipients all have a member of the Allied family who is closely connected with each. The following blog post is the second of four blog posts introducing the Allied employee who plays a role in the charity we’re donating to, as well as an overview of the charity in general.

Shriners Hospitals for Children has locations across North America and specialize in orthopaedics, burn care, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. They provide care to children regardless of a family’s ability to pay for the necessary services. The specific hospital we are supporting this year is the Twin Cities location in Minnesota, which specializes in orthopaedics, including operations like spinal surgeries and limb replacements.

Jody Hale, a sales assistant in our Wisconsin branch, holds this charity very close to her heart. She currently serves as the president of the Tripoli Womens Auxiliary in Milwaukee, WI, which helps raise funds for the Shriners Hospital in Twin Cities. The Twin Cities location is the only one that has an auxiliary that raises funds for the hospital.

MaroonBlack_Horizontal_TWIN_CITIESPrior to becoming an active member of the auxiliary in 2011, Jody attended as many functions as possible to help support the Shriners. Growing up, Jody attended the Shriners circus and all of their parades. Her grandfather was a very active Shriner; he volunteered to transport the children and their families to the hospital for treatment, surgeries, and doctor appointments. Though Jody is linked to Shriners by her grandfather’s activity in the organization, she was also called to the charity because of a loss in her family.

In 1956, Jody’s older brother, Jeff, was born with a severe cleft palate, and forceps used during birth damaged his spinal cord. Because of his deformities, his birth was never announced. Jeff was institutionalized away from home to receive care and passed away at age sixteen. Jody says, “If only “what Shriners do” was known to my parents and others, if only there had been media to educate parents.” The “if only” list goes on, she says.

Today, as president of the auxiliary, she devotes almost every weekend of the year to the organization; there are always fundraising events and luncheons to help support the children.

Something Jody finds important about this charitable organization is that any cash received goes directly to the hospital’s “Wheelchair Fund”, and other fundraisers they hold support the children in other ways, like raising money for the children’s toy fund. Volunteering for Shriners is invaluable to Jody. She says, “our compensation is the smile on the child’s and parent’s face.”

We are thankful for Jody’s involvement with Shriners Hospitals for Children – Twin Cities, and we look forward to working with this organization during our 10th Annual Charity Week. To help support this deserving charity, place an order during the week of December 14-18. Not only will a percentage of your order benefit the the Shriners Hospital of Twin Cities, but it will also support three other worthy beneficiaries. Read more about our 10th Annual Charity Week and help give back to those in our local community this holiday season.

Charity Week 2015 Introductions: Marguerite’s Place

Charity Week 2015In honor of our 10th annual Charity Week, we’ve decided to give back to local charities that support causes close to our hearts. Since several of our employees are involved with different local charities, the four charities that we’ve selected as 2015 Charity Week recipients all have a member of the Allied family who is closely connected with each. The following blog post is the first of four blog posts introducing the Allied employee who plays a role in the charity we’re donating to, as well as an overview of the charity in general.

Marguerite’s Place is a transitional housing and supportive services program located in Nashua, New Hampshire. The organization is dedicated to helping women during times of crisis become stable again by providing them with housing, educational and career opportunities, and childcare services. Marguerite’s Place is a firm believer in second chances, and they are committed to providing these women with the resources they need to become successful and independent once again.

We decided to make Marguerite’s Place a 2015 Charity Week recipient because one of our employees has been involved with the organization for quite some time. Laura Gaskill, a sales assistant at our New Hampshire Branch, has strong ties with Marguerite’s Place that date back about 7 years ago. In sticking with this year’s theme of giving back locally, and staying personally connected by giving to charities that our employees are involved with, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to partner with this deserving organization.Marguerite's Place

Before working for Allied Wire & Cable, Laura worked in a bridal shop, and it was here that she first became familiar with Marguerite’s Place. Every year her bridal shop would donate prom dresses to Marguerite’s Place, and from there she became more involved with the organization. Laura volunteered for their food drives and their “Adopt a Family” Christmas fund, and continued to stay active within the organization even after she left her job as a bridal consultant.

When asked if there’s any aspect of the program that’s particularly important to her, Laura spoke to the idea of how Marguerite’s Place encourages their women to be independent, successful, and self-sufficient. She said, “They don’t just give families a place to stay during difficult times, but they provide job training and educational programs so that they can be self-sufficient and find jobs and homes for themselves and their children.” Not only does Laura like that Marguerite’s Place provides their women with the resources they need to become stable, but she also admires how the organization holds their women to high standards. At Marguerite’s Place, the women are required to complete at least 30 hours of work a week, and/or be enrolled in school/trade school.

We are thankful for Laura’s involvement with Marguerite’s Place and we look forward to working with this organization during our 10th annual Charity Week. To help support this deserving charity, place an order during the week of December 14-18. Not only will a percentage of your order benefit the women of Marguerite’s Place, but it will also support three other worthy beneficiaries. Read more about our 10th Annual Charity Week and help give back to those in our local community this holiday season.

Allied Thanks All Veterans, Including One of Our Own

Jacob Right in uniform

Since his time in the military, Right has yet to visit Arlington National Cemetery. He says that ceremonies are emotional for him, so on Veterans Day he likes to spend the time with his son. Right hopes to visit the cemetery one day to pay his respects to the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Every November 11th, we salute the men and women who have served and protected the United States. This Veterans Day, we are sharing the story of Jacob Right, who served in the Pennsylvania National Guard for eight years and is now a member of our purchasing department at Allied Wire & Cable.

Growing up, Right knew he wanted to serve in the military someday. His brother and grandfather were also in the Army, and once Right was eligible, he joined the Army Reserves. In college, he entered the ROTC program at Slippery Rock University while simultaneously joining the PA Army National Guard Alpha Company 1-112.

After graduation, he went off to Infantry Officer Basic Camp as a First Lieutenant Platoon Leader, and was eventually deployed to Iraq for twelve months as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Right was stationed in Camp Habbaniyah, where he patrolled one of the most dangerous roads in Iraq. Known for its high concentration of improvised explosive devices, this zone is referred to by American soldiers as IED Alley.

In 2007, Time magazine wrote an article about the troops in Baghdad, which features a picture of Right as he stands guard during a house search.

Right explains that he wasn’t fearful while in Iraq, because he trained himself to be physically and mentally prepared for anything. He explains, “I realized that I was part of something greater than myself. I realized that every decision I made had a direct impact on my soldiers and the mission. I realized that the lives of the people around me depended on me.” Planning for each mission and scenario meant very little sleep, but being prepared was crucial to the success and safety of his infantry platoon.

While in Iraq, Right was promoted to First Lieutenant Executive Officer and was awarded a Bronze Star and a Combat Infantry Badge. After serving for eight years, Right chose to pursue other business opportunities and did not renew his contract with the Army.

Before he came to Allied, Right became a certified Personal Fitness Trainer and opened up a women’s outdoor boot camp with 11 locations in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia regions. He also worked in real estate where he oversaw day to day operations of ten commercial office buildings. After working in fitness and real estate, Right was looking for a new challenge and came to Allied to work in our purchasing department.

Allied is proud to have a veteran employee like Right, who brings his invaluable skills to the Allied Family. We are thankful to all the veterans who have served our country, and for the value they bring to their communities.

Make-A-Wish Grants Wish to Daughter of Allied Employee

Allied Wire & Cable and the Make-A-Wish Foundation go way back. For years, we have raised money as a company to support Make-A-Wish in their mission to inspire hope, joy, and strength in children with life-threatening illnesses.

The history between us is long, but recently, we’ve been given the chance to see Make-A-Wish from a different perspective—through the eyes of one of our own. Allied employee Larry Feldman experienced the organization’s compassionate work first-hand after his daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

Larry says that the charity event we held for Make-A-Wish in the summer of 2013 is what inspired him to nominate his daughter for a wish…but that’s not where the real inspiration in this story lies. You’ll have to read on for that.

Lea and her sister in Disney World

Lea and her sister Lara in front of Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom

Leannan Feldman is the daughter of Allied employee Larry Feldman, and in 2013, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Lea learned of her diagnosis at the age of 14 when a horse stepped on her foot. She needed a minor surgery, and when the pre-blood test came back, it showed signs of ALL.

After years of weekly visits to the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania for weeklong stints of chemotherapy, Lea is now getting treatment for fifteen minutes once a month much closer to home. She is doing much better, so much so, that she and her family were able to enjoy a trip to Disney World this past April.

One of Lea’s nurses previously mentioned that she would be eligible for Make-A-Wish, but what Larry says actually inspired him to nominate his daughter was an announcement he saw at work about a charity event Allied was holding for Make-A-Wish during the summer. With the nomination in place, Lea was soon contacted by Make-A-Wish. They sent someone out to interview her, and she began brainstorming wish ideas.

Her father asked her what her wish would be, if a wish was granted, and Lea’s answer was to meet Olympic fencer Tim Morehouse. Lea has been fencing for about four years now. In fact, she won her first competition right before she was diagnosed. Lea’s ALL never stopped her from attending practices. Though she couldn’t always participate, she was always there.

Because Lea is such a fan of Morehouse, Larry reached out to the athlete on his own. Morehouse was more than happy to meet with Lea, and he still keeps in touch with her.

Larry was able to grant one wish for his daughter, but Make-A-Wish was able to make another dream come true.

Lea wanted to go to Disney World, and so the Feldmans packed their bags and were whisked away to Orlando, FL. They stayed at the Give Kids the World Village, which caters to children with life-threatening illnesses.

Make-A-Wish organized every aspect of Lea’s wish so the family didn’t have to worry about the logistics; the Feldmans were picked up in a stretch limo to start their vacation and had no worries for the rest of the trip, with a credit card provided to handle all expenses.

Lea and her family were given top-notch accommodations. In addition to receiving “FastPass+” for all the rides, Lea also donned a special button, which allowed her to be first in line when pressed. Lea was never a huge roller coaster fan, but while in Disney, Larry said that she became a roller coaster fiend. The family had a wonderful time enjoying Orlando and all it had to offer Lea.

With a great attitude, Lea is looking forward to her future. She wants to attend college to be a forensic scientist, and continue to fence. Larry noted that through all of this, he’s learned of Lea’s true strength and says, “I want to be just like her.”

Allied has long been inspired by the children the Make-A-Wish Foundation benefits—that’s why we’ve faithfully supported the organization for many years.

Larry says, “I confess that I’ve always thought of Allied’s donations, at least in part, going towards the trip.”

We like that thought too. Although, we’d gladly help any child, it’s nice to think we helped put a smile on the face of one of our own. Keep smiling, Lea!

Allied Salutes Our Veterans

vets day

Allied Wire and Cable celebrates Veteran’s Day

Today is Veterans Day, where Americans remember and honor those that have served our country on active duty and we thought we’d update you on a member of the Allied family, Craig Smith!

We last spoke with Lance Corporal Craig Smith, son of Allied rep Craig Smith, in 2009 but now according to his Dad he has made the rank of Sergeant.  Currently he is stationed at the Marine Airbase in New River, North Carolina as an airframe mechanic on the V-22 Osprey, the first aircraft designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the Defense Department’s four U.S. armed services.

This summer he was stationed on the USS Iwo Jima for training.  Most recently he was in Spain for a few months and then sent to Sicily, where he was waiting to see if his squadron was going to be needed in Syria and the rest of the Middle East. Thankfully they didn’t need to go and his squadron was cycled out, Craig said.  But there is still a group over there monitoring the situation.

The Smith family has a proud lineage of veterans.  Craig Sr’s grandfather fought in World War I, his father fought in the Navy in World War II, and he had two uncles, one who a pilot in the Marine Corps and another who was a lieutenant in the navy.

“Today, all of our Men and Women in the service volunteered,” Craig said.

“They weren’t drafted, they agreed to go where they were needed and to do so with no reservations, no hesitations. To lay down their life so we may be free. Takes special people to do what they have done.”

The Allied Family couldn’t agree more.  We salute you Sargent Craig Smith for your years of service!  And to all the men and women who have served our country, we would like to say thank you.

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