By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A spirit of giving shined Tuesday when a local veterans organization and a local business delivered 13,000 cans of food just in time for the holidays.
Employees at the local Dish Network center in Bluewell collected thousands of canned goods for the Bluefield Union Mission, giving the organization one of its largest donations to date, said Craig Hammond, the mission’s executive director.
“It’s actually a little over 10,000,” Keith Novotny, human resources manager for Dish Network, said later. “It is a yearly program we have been doing at Dish with our employees, and this is actually the largest donation that we have had thus far. We also sent donations out to the victims of Hurricane Sandy in the New York metro area.”
The donation is part of the company’s efforts to give back to the community, Novotny said. Helping the union mission is one way to do that.
“It’s a great organization,” he added.
Another major donation arrived Tuesday morning when the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9696 in Bluefield, Va., unloaded 3,000 cans of food. It was the second time the post made such a donation, said member Roger Williams.
“We did it last year, “ Williams stated as cases of food were stacked up at the mission. “Veterans that attend the Princeton Vet Center donated cans and made some monetary donations.”
Students at Spanishburg Elementary School made a major contribution of their own to the effort, Williams said. The students collected 1,300 cans of food.
“Every year, the class that raises the most food gets a pizza party,” he added. “Mrs. Richmond’s class collected more than 500 cans, so I think she deserves a little recognition.”
Monetary donations were used to purchase more food from Grant’s Supermarket, which gave the VFW a good deal to help with the project, Williams.
The union mission recently received another major donation when several local churches — Johnston Chapel Baptist Church, Mount Horeb United Methodist Church, Deliverance Temple and Kegley Baptist Church — joined forces to raise more than 6,400 canned food donations.
“That’s almost 20,000 cans of food in the last 30 days. That’s wonderful!” Hammond said.