Home > News > ProAg Cares – ProAg Employees Volunteer in the Communities They Live and Work In

Recently, several ProAg offices and individual employees used volunteer time off (VTO) to support their local non-profit organizations. We are a little over halfway through 2023 and here is an update on what our ProAg employees have been up to in the communities they live and work in. Just one more way we show that ProAg Cares.

Volunteer Spotlights

Amarillo Office

The Amarillo Culture Team picks a local non-profit organization to assist each quarter.  For the first quarter of 2023, during March, the Amarillo chapter of Meals On Wheels (MOW) was chosen.

Meals on Wheels delivers a hot, nutritious meal daily to eligible seniors. The Amarillo chapter was organized in 1971 and served 14 older adults with the help of 12 local churches. Today the Meals on Wheels program feeds 350 elderly recipients. The nutritious and healthy meals are prepared in the kitchens of Northwest Texas and Baptist St. Anthony’s hospitals. Meals on Wheels provides meals to seniors and feeds the client’s animals through an in-house program called “Animeals.” Meals on Wheels will provide two or three two-pound bags of food for the animals that provide comfort and love to the clients. Soon that care will be extended to essential vet care through a partnership with the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine.

To be eligible to receive meals, clients must be at least 60 years old, limited to no driving, and unable to prepare their own meals. Also, pay the $2.50 fee for each meal on a monthly basis. This fee covers the hospital’s charge of $2.50 for each meal. MOW has a scholarship program if a client meets the requirements but cannot pay.

On Wednesday, April 19, 2023, Amarillo Culture Team members Joshua Crist, Roxy Williams and Billie Nutt presented Susie Akers, Meals on Wheels Executive Director, with the $500.00 raised by the ProAg Amarillo office.  The money will be put toward the Meals on Wheels scholarship fund to help clients that cannot afford the weekly meal delivery. Way to go, team!

Vikki Blettner

Vikki works with the Underdog Railroad, which coordinates and transports dogs from high-risk/over-crowded shelters to rescues and/or foster placements. In March, she picked up two German Shephard dogs in Seattle, Washington and delivered them to the Idaho German Shepard Rescue in Moscow, Idaho.  The dogs are placed in temporary foster homes where they learn socialization skills and basic obedience.  Once they graduate, they are eligible for adoption to pre-screened, well-suited people.

Both dogs that Vikki helped transport were coming from Stockton, California. Sam is approximately two years old. Vikki stated that he was a bit out of sorts with the commute and overall changes to his life, but he is now doing well.  Willow (pictured) was approximately ten weeks old when she rode with Vikki. She will quickly bounce back and be a great companion. As of writing this, she has found her forever people and was adopted on April 3, 2023.

Mary Beth Panichi

Mary Beth and her dog Benji volunteered with North Star Therapy Animals in Minneapolis, MN. Benji is a Shih Tzu and is a certified therapy dog that provides tons of smiles and love wherever he goes.

This time, Benji and Mary Beth visited a group of children at their local library during a “Read to the Dog’ event. This activity allowed them to pet, read and talk with Benji.

When asked why she volunteers with North Star Therapy Animals, Mary Beth said she loves working with her dog and giving people a reason to smile.

Stephanie Gossard

Stephanie volunteered with ABLE Ministry UPCI in St. Louis, MO. This organization promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in churches. Stephanie assisted in the biennial meeting for leaders who represent their specific state or area of the country. It was in-person as well as online and was two days of sharing, vision casting and planning/brainstorming. Since the meeting was held in her town, there were a lot of prep activities, including setup and decorating. Once the meeting started, Stephanie led the brainstorming sessions. Each time they have a national conference, the represented states and provinces grow!

West Des Moines Office

A team of six West Des Moines office employees spent an evening serving dinner to families at the Ronald McDonald House in Des Moines, IA. Ronald McDonald House Charites help alleviate some of the financial burdens families endure when their children are ill. They have helped countless families save over $500 million in hotel and meal expenses when their children require stays at the hospital for diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

John Sheeley, Katie Brechler, Mark Brandenburg, Spencer Lockwood, Doug Ruba and Laura Walker helped prepare and serve a meal for their volunteer time with this wonderful organization.

Maple Grove Office

In June, the Maple Grove office tried its hand at crafts with a purpose, making fleece tie blankets for Project Linus. Project Linus supports “children 0-18 across the US who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need” by providing handmade blanks. They have delivered over nine million blankets since they began this work in 1995.

ProAg employees, take advantage of your volunteer day! Just follow the simple steps outlined in the latest ProAg Cares update email.


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