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HTH: Valley Packaging Supply Employees

Plans for an employee Christmas party took a turn when a veterans group suggested adopting a needy veteran and his family for the holidays.
GREEN BAY, WI. (WFRV) Military service members on active duty and their families sacrifice a lot during the holidays. Service members try to make the best of it. That idea wasn't lost on some employees at Valley Packaging Supply in Green Bay in charge of celebrating the Christmas season.

"One of the things that we did with our party planning committee was to think of something we could do different with the money this year," said Elaine Ruh, VPS Human Resources Director.

"Desert Veterans of Wisconsin", a group that helps veterans in need, suggested adopting a veteran's family. So, Elaine Ruh and Angie Radosevich started "Dollar Wars". Each shift had a jar in which a dollar counted as one point. But if larger bills were put in, that would take away points. Things started slowly. But the one-hundred or so employees got into the spirit of the game just as the deadline was approaching.

"People, every time they walked past the bucket they were eyeing up and people were strategically placing a wad of singles in or getting change from the vending machines and placing them in because they sank to the bottom of the bucket," Ruh said.

Third shifters won the contest and a pizza party. Employees raised 678-dollars, which was matched.

"We took that dollar amount to Lance, our president, and he matched it dollar for dollar," Ruh said. "So as a donation to help our one military family this year we had over 13-hundred fifty dollars to help them out."

Then came the biggest challenge: what to get the family's children?

"Mom kicked it back and said: "The kids don't have wish lists," Ruh added. "The kids know we're financially strapped this year and we can't afford anything for them."

So employees in charge of shopping just went all out.

It was certainly an easy sell for managers and employees at Valley Packaging Supply to want to help a veterans family. After all, service to country hits very close to home.

"Being a vet myself, my husband's still in and helping a military family just meant so much to us," said Angie Radosevich, VPS receptionist.

An idea that Valley Packaging hopes other small companies might emulate.

"We can help one family and if anybody else in the area would like to challenge us in a fundraiser and things like that in the future, I think we're up to the challenge," Ruh said.

Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.

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