The Ottumwa Courier

December 20, 2013

Local charities get help from non-locals

By JOSH VARDAMAN Courier staff writer
Ottumwa Courier

---- — OTTUMWA — Usually when a donation is made to community organizations, the gift comes from a community member. But that wasn’t entirely the case this holiday season for workers at The Ottumwa Generating Station.

The admissions-reduction expansion project at the station is a joint venture between two general contractors: Burns & McDonnell Engineering, of Kansas City, Mo., and Babcock & Wilcox Construction Co., of Baberton, Ohio.

Then there are several subcontractors that work underneath the general contractors, including Brand Scaffolding, of Chicago; Three Wishes Investments LLC, of Olathe, Kan.; APi Distribution Inc., of St. Paul Minn.; KISSICK, of Kansas City; and Electrical Corporation of America, of Kansas City.

Together, the contractors and subcontractors, led by Site Manager David Kirby, of Burns & McDonnell, decided they would give to the community in which they are working. Even though a lot of the employees come from all different areas, with some being native Iowans while others come as far away as Texas, they decided to donate to charities in southeast Iowa.

The contractors and subcontractors asked Christi Post, administrative assistant at The Ottumwa Generating Station, which charities they should look at donating to, and she gave them three local organizations: the Lord’s Cupboard, Hogs 4 Dogs USA and Ottumwa Fire Department’s Operation Sparky Claus program.

“They have people from Texas, Georgia, Missouri … and local people. They asked us what charities we would recommend [to donate to] and we told them these three,” Post said.

With that, the workers at the plant, which number anywhere from 300-350 at any given time, reached into their pockets to come up with donations. Thursday morning the organizers for each of the charities met at The Generating Station to collect the gifts.

In all, they donated a total of $1,835.67 on Thursday morning to the three charities. Hogs 4 Dogs USA was given $219 and the Operation Sparky Claus program was given $436.67, as well as 20 new coats, shoes, hats, gloves, pajamas and toys for their toy drive. The remaining $1,180, as well as a large amount of food, was given to the Lord’s Cupboard.

“It was a wonderful turnout and a good response,” Post said.

It is always special when community members donate out of their own pockets to local charities, but when those not even from the area give to those in need, it adds to the wonders of the holiday season.

— To see reporter Josh Vardaman’s Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh