Coterra staff members were joined recently by employees from numerous companies that support the natural gas industry in northeast Pennsylvania to bring holiday cheer to those in need in Susquehanna and Wyoming counties. Coterra and GasSearch Drilling Services (GDS) coordinated the 10th annual Holiday Toy Drive with Cindy Beeman, director of Susquehanna County Interfaith.
They greeted our team of shoppers at the entrance of the Tunkhannock Walmart. The shoppers received tags that corresponded to gift requests of more than 1,200 children in the area. For a second year, the generosity of our vendors and contractors pushed the spending total over $7,000.
“We try to make sure that everybody in the family gets the same amount of gifts,” Cindy explained. “This trip helps us to balance things out. These are things that haven’t been purchased yet and are still needed.”
“It’s great that Coterra is doing this for the kids,” said Luke Curtis of GDS (GasSearch Drilling Services), who was filling tags with coworker Roger May. “I have experience with a child as the father of a five-year-old,” Roger remarked, “so I think it’s pretty cool.”
It wasn’t just toys that were purchased for the kids. Some of our shoppers, like Rebecca Peterson of Folsom Engineering, enjoyed filling tags in the children’s clothing aisles. As she held up a small pink sweater adorned with a giant snowflake, she said, “When I was growing up, I liked to have something warm and fuzzy for Christmas.” Warm and fuzzy epitomized the feelings shared by the Toy Drive participants, many of whom have routinely partnered with us for the annual Christmas campaign.
Shopping for a sixth year were Karen Hubbard and Tony Maury of Rain For Rent. “We all work and live here and want to give back to the community,” said Tony. “I have kids, and I wouldn’t want them to go without at Christmas.” Karen also noted that the natural gas community is a combination of lifelong residents, people who have come back to the area for jobs, and new people who now call northeast Pennsylvania “home.”
For those who weren’t able to join us for the Walmart shopping trip, we allowed for gift drop offs at our offices for employees, vendors, and community members. There were also numerous monetary donations that came in online to the Holiday Helpers Fund that’s hosted through the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains. These combined efforts resulted in over $30,000 of gifts that were given directly to members of our community.
Because of our tremendous success in gathering donations this year, we actually had a surplus of toys come in that were valued at about $500. With the help of Representative Jonathan Fritz, we delivered those toys to families in need in Susquehanna and Wayne Counties.
Our giving efforts didn’t stop in the Northeast. The folks in our Pittsburgh office also spent time collecting donations for the community. They teamed up with the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce who was collecting new and unwrapped toys for the Marine Toys for Tots program. On December 16th, Coterra employees dropped off their toy haul to the Chamber.
We want to extend a huge thank you to the employees and vendors who helped us make the Holiday season a little brighter for our community members who were in need!