For nearly a decade now, Coterra Energy has enjoyed the support of numerous gas industry partners for our annual Holiday Toy Drive for Susquehanna County Interfaith. We’re excited to be gathering once again in person for a morning of in-person shopping on Dec. 14. Please contact us here if you’re interested in joining. When all is said and done, we hope to be able to provide toys, apparel and other small gifts for as many as 1,200 children in both Susquehanna and Wyoming counties.
Needless to say, participation has been affected by the pandemic. In fact, our supporters were unable to shop with us last year. However, many maintained the tradition with cash donations that were used to buy presents. With your help, we can boost involvement back to pre-pandemic levels and beyond.
Coterra’s external affairs specialist Bonnie Morris collaborates with Susquehanna County Interfaith director Cindy Beeman to compile shopping lists from wish lists submitted by eligible families. As representatives from the participating companies arrive to shop in person, they are given a list and off they go into the store with big smiles on their faces, returning to the registers with carts overflowing like Santa’s sleigh. Cindy is on her own mission, filling last minute requests and looking for simple gifts for the parents like puzzle books, key chains, or an ornament for their tree.
The number of people in need has increased dramatically. “There seems to be a lot of people struggling with medical issues,” Cindy told us, “and also many who are now caring for grandchildren or other relatives which adds financial stress to the families.”
Past shopping participants have shared with us that the initiative is much more meaningful to them knowing that what they are purchasing is exactly what a child wants. “We are directly impacting them,” said Rachel Barfosky of Rain For Rent during our 2019 shopping trip. “These are actual families that need help.”
“We’re getting gifts knowing that they are going to someone in particular,” said Mel Morris of Tioga Environmental Consulting. “We like knowing that what we are getting here stays in the community.”
Coterra employees get into the holiday spirit too, loading the gift bags into waiting trucks then taking them back to our headquarters in Dimock, where other employees help to sort, wrap and tag them before they are delivered to Interfaith’s offices in Montrose.
Cindy arranges pick-up times for the parents, who can take the gifts home discreetly and place them under the tree for the children to find on Christmas morning. “Interfaith believes in giving the families that dignity so that they can provide Christmas for their children,” Cindy remarked. “I just spoke to a mom who had been part of our program in the past, and she said that getting the gifts for her children during that rough time in her life made her feel like the whole community was encouraging her to have hope.”
To join in this year’s Holiday Toy Drive, contact Bonnie Morris at Coterra at 570-278-3518 or Bonnie.Morris@cabotog.com.