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Keeping the Spirit of Giving Alive in a Pandemic

·5 min read

HUDSON, Ill., March 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - As COVID-19 cases spiraled with the arrival of winter and many corporate Christmas celebrations were down-sized or canceled outright, manufacturer/distributor The Brandt Group of Companies bucked the trend and responded by making their company Christmas party even larger! In response to social distancing requirements, the company moved their annual celebration online, creating a five-day web-based interactive party that culminated in a major philanthropic effort.

Brandt's Thanks A Billion Holiday Fund (CNW Group/Brandt Group of Companies)
Brandt's Thanks A Billion Holiday Fund (CNW Group/Brandt Group of Companies)

"Relationships are very important within our team at Brandt and we were not prepared to miss celebrating the holiday season together; we just needed to find another way." says Brandt CEO, Shaun Semple. "We enjoyed a wonderful five-day gathering of team members from across the U.S., Canada, and around the world and, in the months since, we've been excited to engage with some truly amazing charitable organizations!"

The theme of the final day was 'Gratitude' and the daily activity involved staff choosing from a selection of charities to be supported via a $250,000 Christmas philanthropic fund with $50,000 designated for American charities and $200,000 for Canadian groups. These funds were allocated through the company's Thanks A Billion program.

Brandt's Thanks A Billion program was instituted in 2011 to express the company's gratitude in tangible ways to the people most responsible for their success: customers, employees and the communities in which they live and work. Community gifts and program sponsorships currently total over $13 million and are given in support of organizations that positively impact the lives of Brandt customers and employees.

In the months since the event, Brandt's U.S. team has worked closely with three local charitable groups to help determine the most effective use of the funds that they designated. The recipients are:

  • Wounded Warrior Project....................................$25,000

  • Illinois CancerCare Foundation.......................... $15,000

  • Heartland Community College Foundation........ $10,000

Donation Recipients:

Wounded Warrior Project – Warriors Speak
Warriors Speak is a prestigious group of wounded warriors and caregivers who share their unique, inspirational stories of courage, perseverance, recovery, and growth. The goal of Warriors Speak is to educate the American public on the struggles our nation's service members must overcome as a result of their service.

"We are very conscious of the debt of gratitude that we owe to our nation's veterans and first responders. No dollar amount could adequately repay them for their service, but we want to do what we can to help those struggling with operational stress injuries as a result of their service." Hans Rasmussen, Sales Manager, Northern United States, Brandt Industries USA Ltd.

"Brandt's generous contribution directly supports the programs and services that give warriors access to mental health services, physical health and wellness education, and many other programs such as career counseling. Warriors never pay a penny for these programs – because they paid their dues on the battlefield." Nikki Aguilar, Warrior Support, Resource Development, Wounded Warrior Project

Illinois CancerCare Foundation
Illinois CancerCare works to provide comprehensive, compassionate care that enhances the lives of patients and their families while staying on the leading edge of breakthrough research and medicines. They are one of the largest private oncology practices in the nation and have helped countless individuals overcome this disease to live healthy, inspiring lives.

"Cancer touches everyone's life at some point, either directly or indirectly. This donation reflects and honors the personal stories of so many of our employees and their families." Marc Eberle, Chief Operating Officer, Brandt Industries Ltd.

"On behalf of the Illinois CancerCare Foundation Board of Directors, Volunteers, staff and all our cancer patients and their families, I would like to Thank Brandt Industries and Brandt employees for selecting Illinois CancerCare Foundation as one of your charities. Your generous donation will stay local helping cancer patients and their families navigate through their cancer journey by providing much needed clinical trial research, patient services such as transportation, nutrition and social service support, along with our holiday Trust in Hope Program. Our Illinois CancerCare Foundation, in collaboration with Illinois CancerCare, helps bring the latest nationally renowned clinical cancer research trials right here to our 14 clinic communities. Giving cancer patients and their families greater access to advanced treatment options, much needed patient services and greater HOPE close to home. We are grateful to each of you for your support."Tonda Thompson, Executive Director, Illinois CancerCare Foundation

Heartland Community College
Heartland Community College is a premier two-year technology and trades-focused college with three locations in Central Illinois. Heartland provides specialized training and education that is tailored to the workforce needs of the regional economy.

"Meaningful, accessible educational opportunities are key to a thriving workforce and a growing economy. Heartland Community College does a fantastic job of training local women and men to succeed in their career journeys and we're thrilled to be able to have a part." Mike Nau, Operations Manager, Brandt Industries USA Ltd.

"A huge thanks is due to the employees and leadership of Brandt for choosing to invest in Heartland Community College students. The support of Brandt will help area students with access to learning opportunities through scholarships, programs, and support services. Our partnership with Brandt has been vital to Heartland's efforts to educate the agriculture industry professionals of today and tomorrow." Chris Downing, HCC Foundation Executive Director, Heartland Community College

About the Brandt Group of Companies
The Brandt Group of Companies — headquartered in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada — is comprised of Brandt Agricultural Products, Brandt Engineered Products, Brandt Equipment Solutions, Brandt Road Rail, Brandt Positioning Technology, Brandt Truck Rigging & Trailers, Brandt Finance, Brandt Developments Ltd., Brandt Road Technology, Brandt Mineral Technology, and Brandt Tractor Ltd. — the world's largest privately-owned John Deere Construction & Forestry equipment dealer. Brandt has over 100 locations in Canada and the U.S., over 3,200 employees, and a growing international audience; serving the construction, forestry, agriculture, rail, mining, steel, and energy industries with unique custom products. Brandt is one of Canada's largest privately owned companies and is among an elite group of Platinum Club members of Canada's Best Managed Companies.

Tonda Thompson of the Illinois CancerCare Foundation accepting Brandt's $15,000 donation as part of their Thanks A Billion Holiday Fund (CNW Group/Brandt Group of Companies)
Tonda Thompson of the Illinois CancerCare Foundation accepting Brandt's $15,000 donation as part of their Thanks A Billion Holiday Fund (CNW Group/Brandt Group of Companies)
Dan Miller of the Wounded Warrior Project accepting Brandt's $25,000 donation as part of their Thanks A Billion Holiday Fund (CNW Group/Brandt Group of Companies)
Dan Miller of the Wounded Warrior Project accepting Brandt's $25,000 donation as part of their Thanks A Billion Holiday Fund (CNW Group/Brandt Group of Companies)
Dr. Chris Downing of Heartland Community Foundation accepting Brandt's $10,000 donation as part of their Thanks A Billion Holiday Fund (CNW Group/Brandt Group of Companies)
Dr. Chris Downing of Heartland Community Foundation accepting Brandt's $10,000 donation as part of their Thanks A Billion Holiday Fund (CNW Group/Brandt Group of Companies)
Cision
Cision

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SOURCE Brandt Group of Companies