CES Waxhaw, NC: Operation Sandwich
[Waxhaw, North Carolina] – On May 5, 2020, one of City Electric Supply Waxhaw’s customers, Tayco Electric and Solar, challenged the branch to match or beat their sandwich donation to the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte. As soon as the branch heard about the challenge, they jumped at the opportunity.
“My team never shies away from an opportunity to help out their community,” said Branch Manager Shawn Odom.
The Urban Ministry Center is a soup kitchen founded in 1979 to provide a full spectrum of homeless programs, from basic services to shelter and housing.
“Our mission is to bring the community together to end homelessness, one life at a time,” said Urban Ministries Director of Communication and Philanthropy Service, Trish Fries.
The branch teamed up with Mary O’Neills, a local restaurant, to donate 375 sandwiches that included a variety of ham and cheese, turkey and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly.
“We eat at Mary O’Neills quite often, so it was a no brainer to ask them to join us in giving to the center. They were so excited about the opportunity and quickly said yes,” said Shawn. “They even donated half of the sandwiches we provided. It felt rewarding being able to work with and support a local business and then donate to those in need at a local center.”
Vice President of Operations Blair Feidler, District Manager Gary Tubbs, Outside Sales Representative Connor Raines, and Odom picked up the sandwiches from the restaurant and traveled 45 minutes to the center.
“We were excited to take this challenge, but we also wanted to give from the heart to those in need,” said Feidler.
The team successfully dropped off their sandwiches, and they were glad to have the opportunity to do so.
“It was a great day of camaraderie with the team doing something good for the community,” said Tubbs.
Odom was particularly touched by how many people needed help, and was glad to do what he could.
“It saddened me knowing how many people need help,” said Odom. “It felt really nice knowing we were able to help that day and provide people with lunches.”
This was the branch’s first opportunity to donate food, but they like to help their community whenever they can.
“We are currently helping with the St. Jude’s dream home in Waxhaw, which has felt very rewarding. But providing a meal to those who need it more than we do was something wonderful,” said Shawn.
Urban Ministries feeds around 350 people on weekdays and around 200 on the weekends.
“I honestly did not know we were able to provide a meal for each individual that came through that day until several days later,” said Shawn. “When I was informed, it felt great knowing how many individuals we were able to feed. That is absolutely amazing.”
Fries and Soup Kitchen Director Sandra Smith were very excited to receive the donation.
“We are extremely grateful for City Electric Supply’s support of the soup kitchen and our neighbors experiencing homelessness,” said Fries. “The needs have not slowed during this pandemic, and people continue to come in daily to meet their basic hunger needs.”
These lunches play a very important role in many people’s lives, and Fries and Smith are glad to help.
“Donations like these are crucial to providing a filling and affordable lunch for hundreds of people each day,” said Smith. “For some, lunch may be their only meal of the day and sandwiches are a great takeaway food as they can also be saved for later if needed.”
Shawn and his team were happy to have the opportunity to help Fries and Smith in their efforts to serve others.
“We are all thankful we were able to help out and are excited to contribute to other causes in the future,” said Odom.
CES Cares Social Impact Manager Karen Gray was excited for the opportunity presented to the branch and excited to see CES Cares was able to participate in helping.
“CES Cares was so excited to be a part of this important effort,” said Gray. “We love watching our employees give back to those in need, but being able to be a part of this made it even better.”