Autumn Lester, Steven Adkins and Linda Prater live in the same Jackson neighborhood. They also shared the same worry of not having a turkey on the table for Thanksgiving.
That changed in mid-November when they crossed paths with some friendly faces – the women and men of our Enhanced Infrastructure Replacement Program (EIRP) who are working to modernize Michigan’s natural gas infrastructure.
EIRP employees delivered more than 600 turkey dinners around the state on Nov. 14, including Jackson, Bay City, Saginaw, Sanford and Warren.
Lester was heading to the store when she walked by EIRP workers decked out in their hard hats and bright yellow vests. When one of them asked Lester if she would like a turkey with all the fixings and dessert, she didn’t know to respond.
“This is unbelievable, just amazing,” Lester said. “We’ve been going through a really tough time lately and we weren’t sure if we would have to go to relatives or not have Thanksgiving at all. Now we don’t have to worry. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Our EIRP employees raised $17,642 this year to help make Thanksgiving a little more enjoyable for some Michigan families. This was the sixth year for the grassroots event.
Linda Prater was watching television when she heard a knock at the door.
She peaked out her window and was greeted by several smiling faces offering her a 12-pound turkey and a shopping bag of Thanksgiving sides and a pumpkin pie. The bags were provided by our Green teams, who promote environmental awareness within the company.
“Oh, what a surprise,” Prater said as she wiped tears from her eyes. “This means the world to me. I was going to go to the shelter for Thanksgiving dinner. Now I can stay home. Maybe I will invite a friend over now.”
Curtis Hays, an EIRP Field Leader, also helped stock and pass baskets out in Jackson. He said EIRP employees have raised more than $70,000 and handed out 2,600 turkeys since the program started in 2013.
“This is our way of saying thanks to the customers we serve,” Hays said.
One of those customers is Adkins, a military veteran who is experiencing financial difficulty and has moved from place to place.
“This is awesome, just awesome, you guys are some really special people” said Adkins before he hugged the three workers who dropped off his basket. “This will be something I will always remember. Nobody has ever done anything like this for me.”
The turkeys left over from people who were not home were donated to the Jackson Interfaith Shelter.
“Your workers continue to come through for this community,” said Laura Stephens, Manager at the Jackson Interfaith Shelter. “They not only show up in our neighborhood each day and get their job done by keeping us safe. They go above and beyond by taking care of people most in need. They are aware of their surroundings and what it takes to make our community a better place to live. God bless them.”
See how our natural gas workers raised money to provide and deliver holiday meals in the neighborhoods where we’ve worked this year.
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