CES Employee Uses Holiday Gift Budget to Support Local Organizations

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“Driving past Metropolitan Ministries, I saw a lot of people in line to get food,” said CES Land o’ Lakes Outside Sales Rep Jim Dahmer. “I saw people from every walk of life affected, and it broke my heart.”

Dahmer has worked at CES for 20 years. In that time, he developed the habit of giving gifts to his customers every holiday season. This year, after seeing the food lines at Metropolitan Ministries and how many people were severely impacted by COVID-19, he decided to do things a little differently.

“Instead of giving something to the guys who are working, I donated that money to charities,” said Dahmer. “My customers thought it was a great idea, too.”

The reactions from his customers were encouraging. Some even asked to join him in giving if he did the same thing next year.

Ripple Effect

“My customers were just as energetic as me,” said Dahmer. “We all wanted the money to go where it could do the most good. I donated to the Humane Society and the Children’s Home Network here in Tampa.”

When Dahmer donated to those organizations, he didn’t know it would have a ripple effect, inspiring one customer to give more to Feeding America.

“Wayne Morrow of KW Morrow and Sons Electric was already giving to Feeding America,” said Dahmer. “When he heard what I did, he used the money he would have put toward a gift for me to donate to them. I was glad. I just know the money will go further with an organization like that.”

Dahmer was glad to give and glad to see those around him give, too.

“It feels good being able to help, even if it’s just a little bit. A little bit can go a long way,” said Dahmer. “The biggest thing is — if you think something needs to be done, do something.”

Charitable Giving in 2021

Dahmer did something himself. And he quickly realized he wasn’t the only one.

“The day after I donated, I got an email about CES helping Make-A-Wish. I think it’s nice that we do that,” said Dahmer. “I still think local branches should get involved in their own communities, but I love seeing what CES is doing across the country. It inspires me to do more here. I also think the more we do, the more we inspire others to do the same.”

And that’s what he hopes to see more of in 2021.

“I want things to change in 2021, of course, and for us to return to some sort of normalcy,” said Dahmer. “But I hope the charitable giving doesn’t stop. I hope we keep thinking about what we can do for others.”

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