WHEATLAND – JG Elliott is celebrating 100 years as a business this year and to celebrate that milestone, the company decided to donate $100K to local charities.
Because there is an office in Platte County, four charities were chosen to receive a gift. Wheatland was allocated $6K to distribute and other branches are giving to charities in their areas.
The charities that were chosen to receive funding are Services for Seniors, Project SAFE, Inc., Marge Cares Foundation and the Wheatland Food Pantry.
In an invitation only get-together at Platte Valley Bank, representatives were brought in for a special recognition and to receive checks for their charities.
Brook Brockman, the JGE representative located in Platte Valley Bank and Justin Murphy, Platte Valley Bank President of the Wheatland branch presented the checks to each of the charities. Brockman who was the emcee of the event introduced each nonprofit and had each of the charity’s spokespeople come up and introduce themselves and their charities.
“Justin and I and some of the other people from the bank sat down and we discussed all of the local community organizations that we had,” Brockman said as she addressed the group. “We chose you four as the local charities that we wanted to present the awards to. It’s a no-strings thank you for everything you do.”
The Wheatland Food Pantry
Connie Thomas from the Wheatland Food Pantry spoke about her charity and what it meant to be recognized and to receive the donation of $1,000.
“We service Platte County school district #1 meaning that we service Glenco, Chugwater and Wheatland,” Thomas said. “With COVID things have changed a little bit, but before COVID the food pantry was open every morning Monday through Friday 9-noon and the community we service could come in and they could come in and do their own shopping, and they were allowed four bags per family.”
During and after COVID, the food pantry faithfully continued to service the community which all of a sudden had a greater need.
“As a board we came up with Friday mornings from 9-noon,” Thomas said. “Because our volunteers were all elderly, we decided that just the board needed to be there to keep the pantry going. So now, they come and ring the doorbell of the UCC church and we have prepacked bags and we bring them two bags of general groceries along with hamburger, sausage, cheese and butter.”
The Marge Cares Foundation
The Marge Cares Foundation was founded in honor of Marge Wilson who fought cancer for five years and their charity was awarded $1,000.
“When she passed away, she wanted her memorial to go to helping people that had to travel for some kind of treatment,” said Candy Geringer, representative for the Marge Cares Foundation. “Marge battled for five years and made a lot of trips to Wheatland and actually spent some time at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.”
The foundation was started with Marge’s memorial fund, and actually have been able to continue the mission that she hoped to establish. The foundation was created due to Marge’s traveling expenses due to fighting cancer, but the organization also helps those who have to travel due to other diseases.
“If you are traveling for any reason we try to help,” Geringer said. “There are 10-12 of us that actively work on the foundation, but it is such a community program. It is the entire town of Glendo. We are so well supported by the people in our community.”
The foundation that usually sponsors an annual bingo and chili night have not been able to hold these fundraisers due to COVID. There are usually 300 people who attend this event.
“This is our 10th year and it’s worked out really good,” said Marge’s husband, Britt Wilson who continues to carry his wife’s mission. “We are able to give out as much as we are able to give in, and we give out $500 a shot to those in need and we give a lot repeatedly depending on their situation. You have to travel many places no matter what kind of illness you have and it just keeps growing each year.”
Project SAFE, Inc.
Project SAFE, Inc. is a local charity that received $2,000 from JG Elliott.
“Project SAFE, Inc. is a victims assistance program,” said Samantha Twiford, executive director for the organization in Wheatland. “When I started there, we had two separate programs. One helping victims of crime and helping them get restitution from loss or injuries. The other side is our domestic violence sexual assault program which is completely confidential.”
It’s the second program that, according to Twiford requires more interesting funding because they can’t always attach that funding to a specific person. A lot of people that have a need talk to people who have received assistance.
“We help with hotel rooms and sometimes we put them in our shelter,” Twiford said. “Sometimes we give them gas to go on down the road to get them to a safer place. We also help them fill out protection orders and we can also accompany them to any court appearance they might need to go to because it makes them feel a little safer. It’s definitely all about safety and confidentiality.”
In the past four years, the county government decided not to take on the Department of Health Anti-Poverty Grant. That grant represented $50K that the county had and allocated funds to Project SAFE. Project Safe has since taken that responsibility of applying for that grant.
“We spend down to the penny every year,” Twiford said. “Obviously there is a lot of need in our community for anti-poverty work. Right now, we are just treading water and slapping band aids on the crisis.”
Services for Seniors
JG Elliott donated $2,000 to Services for Seniors.
“Services for Seniors was incorporated in 1974,” said SfS executive director Carolyn Teter. “We serve four centers in Platte County including Chugwater, Glendo, Guernsey and Wheatland. There are between 700-1000 people who depend on us daily.”
Their core services are under federal grants which is under Title III of the Older Americans Act.
“One of our core services are congregate meals,” Teter said. “It’s important for the feds to fund that because they know how critical it is for people to have socialization. Congregate meals are about nutrition, but it’s also about socialization. The other core service is our home food delivery service and they get the same meal that comes to our congregate setting and thanks to our tax payers in Platte County, who every four years vote for a meal levy, we would not be here without it.”
Teter said that although they work under eight grants, the federal grants pay very little of what the expenses are. She also mentioned that they saw first hand what COVID did to dissocialize the elderly.
Services for Seniors stayed open each day that COVID was quarantining others. Another thing that this organization does if provide the public transit system for all ages. Last year Services for Seniors provided 52,562 meals at the four centers they service including the home food delivery service.
The In-Home Personal and Homemaking Services also are continuing to increase with everything else in this country. SfS contracts with an RN who does diabetic foot care in their centers and the C.N.A. does non diabetic foot care.