More than $28,000 worth of toys and donated funds were the end result of the collective efforts of Marcellus shale driller Range Resources, the company’s service partners and the generosity of Washington County neighbors in 2016.
Range Resources has been supporting Toys for Tots for the last several years, raising more than $150,000 since the beginning. But this year, despite a downturn in the industry, the company and the community came together like never before to ensure that over 4000 children will have presents from Santa on Christmas morning. And for the parents who have fallen on hard time and wouldn’t otherwise be able to make that happen for the kids, the service and help that Toys for Tots provides is immeasurable in value.
Range Resources employee Nicole Kravits has been volunteering and coordinating the company’s efforts for Toys for Tots for the last five years. “Like everyone who volunteers, since day one, I loved it. It warmed my heart, raising the donations at work, but also, at the end of the drive — handing the toys out to the parents, it’s just extremely heartwarming.”
Like all of the other employees at Range Resources who volunteer their time not only for Toys for Tots, but also many other worthy causes throughout the year including 2000 Turkeys, Habitat for Humanity, the Washington County Agricultural Fair (just to name a few) – Nicole’s volunteer hours are something she adds on to her busy full-time job with Range’s Operations department.
“The employees get a lot out of it, they don’t mind taking that extra time on top of their normal work day too.” Nicole says the management team is also very supportive of employees’ efforts; along with the many vendors and service companies who work with Range throughout the year. “We couldn’t make the event successful without our vendors.”
This year was Range’s first time participating in Washington County’s downtown Holiday Market under the new Community Pavilion and Farmer’s Market on Main Street (Range was the first corporate sponsor for the pavilion and worked with community leaders for six years to bring the project to fruition). “We had enthusiastic Range employees asking all of the passers-by, the shoppers, if they would donate whatever they change they had, or they could donate a toy too,” says Nicole. The night was a success, helping to raise even more money for Toys for Tots. “I was very happy with how our first year at the Holiday Market turned out, people were so generous.” And for the third year in a row, Range Resources also hosted a Breakfast with Santa fundraiser for Toys for Tots.
Mike Pallesco is the coordinator of the Washington and Greene Counties Toys for Tots drive. “My dad started it in 2003. He died in 2013, so I kind of took it over from there. It gives you a great feeling to be able to help families out.” Mike also says corporate support is critical. “We had about 350 kids the first year. We’re up to around 4000 now. We hand out approximately 30-thousand toys every year. We couldn’t do it without support from local companies, and Range Resources is one of our top contributors every year.”
Range’s Dennis Degner sums it up like this: “One of the best things about having children, is being able to watch them get excited and unwrap gifts on Christmas morning. And being a part of that moment, and that excitement, and that memory. Partnering with Toys for Tots for us helps us create that for someone else. And there’s not a better feeling in the world than seeing those kids be happy.”