Casey Freshwater, a service technician from RDO Equipment Co. in Portland, Ore., nominated FISH of Vancouver for a grant. (FISH of Vancouver photo)
R.D. Offutt Company, the parent company of RDO Equipment Co., and the Offutt Family Foundation, announced the awarding of 48 grants as part of the Community Builder program.
Offutt Family Foundation's Community Builder program is a unique initiative designed to support charitable organizations across the R.D. Offutt Company footprint that team members are passionate about while contributing to the communities in which they work and live. Only R.D. Offutt team members, including people from RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt Farms teams, nominate a local charity with which they are affiliated and notify them of their grant award if that charity is selected.
This year, $345,500 in grants was awarded to 48 organizations in three categories: health care, education and community development, all causes that are the focus of the Offutt Family Foundation's work. R.D. Offutt Company partnered with the Foundation to financially support each grant as a tribute to the nominating team members and their passion for causes.
This program supported more than 48 charities in communities surrounding RDO Equipment Co. stores. In its eighth year, the Community Builder program has donated more than $1.4 million to local nonprofit and community organizations nationwide. This year heralded the highest dollar amount of grants in the program's history.
Tom Espel, Offutt Family Foundation executive drector, said RDO team members showed their dedication to their communities through their rich and diverse applications.
"The causes team members advocated for, and the stories they shared were nothing less than awe-inspiring," he said. "It was an incredible experience to learn so many ways RDO team members are giving back to their communities."
Here are just a few of those stories from RDO team members:
- FISH of Vancouver — Vancouver, Wash. Casey Freshwater, a service technician from RDO Equipment Co. in Portland, Ore., nominated FISH of Vancouver after witnessing the need for nutritious food while using his RDO volunteer hours to help at FISH in downtown Portland. "As a FISH volunteer for over two years, I saw my community's tremendous need for nutritious food and resources, especially during COVID-19. I use my volunteer hours from RDO to help at the food bank and witness its impact on the community," said Freshwater.
- Hmong Nurses Association (HNA) — Fresno, Calif. Nhia Vue, RDO Equipment Co.'s store manager in Fowler, Calif., experienced Hmong nurses' kindness when his older brother Kong Meng was diagnosed with cancer at 16. His parents spoke very little English, but the Hmong nurses at Valley Children's Hospital helped when translators weren't available. Through witnessing this experience, Vue said he understands nurses' vital role, especially with those who have additional cultural or language backgrounds. Vue said HNA ensures future Hmong nurses through scholarships and the collaboration of Hmong nurses to promote and sustain a healthy community.
Since 2015, through the Community Builder grant program, the Offutt Family Foundation has awarded grants to nonprofits and causes RDO team members support. The program builds on the spirit of community involvement embedded in RDO culture and embodied by team members.
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