By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
Employees at the Whirlpool Cleveland Customer eXperience Center recently rallied together to spread some holiday cheer to U.S. military personnel and veterans here and abroad. Leaders with the …
Employees at the Whirlpool Cleveland Customer eXperience Center recently rallied together to spread some holiday cheer to U.S. military personnel and veterans here and abroad.
Leaders with the Cleveland call center invited employees to participate in “Holidays for Heroes,” an initiative of the American Red Cross which makes sure the men and women who serve receive holiday cards.
For weeks, employees added handwritten notes, drawings and more to cards to be given to veterans and those actively serving. Carmen Cranfill, engagement coordinator at the Whirlpool Cleveland call center, said this is something employees “get excited about every year.”
“Our employees love it,” Cranfill said. “We actually let them work on cards at their desks in between calls, so they are using that free time to spread holiday cheer.”
This has been a tradition at the call center for six years now. This year and last, the facility also hosted a holiday party where employees were encouraged to make cards while enjoying refreshments.
Students from Lake Forest Middle School also joined in on the fun this year. The Revolution show choir performed some festive songs at the party and helped deliver cards made in art classes at their school.
Cranfill said the call center usually ends up preparing “about a couple thousand cards” each year, and the facility was on track to match that number.
Cecilia Ragland, case worker with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee, said it was nice to see a company get its employees together for the “Holidays for Heroes” cause.
“This is something we get to do every year to thank our veterans for their service,” Ragland said. “It’s to let them know how much we appreciate them and to wish them a good holiday, even if they cannot be with their loved ones.”
While a giving a holiday card to someone might not seem like much, Ragland noted it can be a big morale booster for military personnel who may be missing home and feeling forgotten during the holidays.
Signed cards collected by the American Red Cross are distributed to hospitals, nursing homes and veterans’ groups here in the United States. Some are also sent overseas so Red Cross volunteers can deliver them to military personnel there.
Cards were being collected by the regional Red Cross office through Monday, and Whirlpool representatives will soon help deliver the holiday cards to veterans living in area nursing homes.
“We are the only major corporation in Cleveland doing this,” said Lisa Sexton of Whirlpool. “We would love to see more take part next year.”
For more information on “Holidays for Heroes,” visit http://www.redcross.org/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities/holidays-for-heroes or call the Southeast Tennessee chapter at 423-265-3455.
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