Storm Sandy may have delayed the Linde Cares Campaign efforts for the Western New Jersey sites of Stewartsville, Alpha, and Pohatcong, but she did not dampen the giving spirit.
"Clearly, the company has a very generous group of employees who always rise to the occasion to support the giving campaign as well as other charitable activities throughout the year," said Rebecca Dabkowski, Linde Cares representative for Electronics and Premium Products.
Each year the local Linde Cares committee invites the United Way and one of its supported agencies to speak with Linde employees so that they can hear how their contributions are used.
This year each site hosted lunch-and-learns featuring the United Way and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Representatives from BBBS spoke about how their programs help children in the nearby communities. They encouraged employees to become a Big Brother or Sister to one of the many local children in need of mentors and role models through their school based or community based programs.
"Under the school-based program we pair you with a child at a local elementary school,” said Marianne Gano, outreach coordinator and school-based case manager. “You only need to come and have lunch with him or her once a week throughout the school year."
Added case manager Marnie Carrick regarding the community based program, "You are asked to meet with your child a couple times a month to do activities. Each match is unique and getting together doesn’t require a special occasion or expensive activity—just a few hours every month doing things that you both already enjoy like playing catch, reading books, going to a museum, or simply providing advice and inspiration."
"There is no set schedule either,” said Carrick. “Some meet on the weekends while others get together in the evenings. Each match develops a schedule that works for them."
According to the BBBS website, children in the program are statistically 52 percent less likely to skip school, 46 percent less likely to use drugs, have more confidence, and are more likely to get along with their peers and family members.
Anyone interested should visit www.bbbs.org and click on "find a local agency" to search by zip code to volunteer in your local area.
“The annual campaign would not be complete without the Linde raffle where employees purchase chances to win Linde merchandise,” added Dabkowski. “This money is used to purchase specific items that directly help agencies. The Linde sites joined forces to raise $600, which will go to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts this year. We are actively working with the United Way to select an agency in the most impacted areas.”