In early 2021, All Craft Exteriors asked folks to nominate a neighbor who deserved a $500 gift card from Hy-Vee. 2020 and COVID hit a lot of people very hard, and it just seemed like we should do just a little something.
Both Laser 101.7 and KFAN Radio generously helped us publicize the event, getting the word out to everyone in Rochester. And Hy-Vee even volunteered to donate one of the $500 cards we give away.
We got a lot of nominations, and it was difficult to choose only five winners.
We decided that we would NOT be sharing the names of the winners publicly because we thought that they deserved their privacy.
But we can give you an idea of a few of the stories we heard:
- One person is caring for a parent who has stage 4 cancer. When COVID hit, they were forced to make the choice between working – but possibly bringing home the virus- or staying home to care for their parent and falling behind on the bills.
- Another person who was selected to receive a gift card was already very sick, had a series of serious medical operations, and then was unable to return to work as a caregiver because the risk of contracting COVID was too high. According to the person who nominated this individual, being out of work has meant that the family has on top of life-threatening sickness, faced a huge financial burden.
- We chose a parent whose toddler was brain-damaged in a severe and freak accident. Not only has this family been uprooted by the tragedy, but access to their child in the hospital has been limited because of health concerns related to the pandemic.
- Another recipient was described as a mother who goes above and beyond for others, and is always ready to help, despite the fact that she doesn’t have many resources to share. Employment disruptions caused by COVID have made the financial situation tense, but this person keeps a smile on their face, and continues to do amazing things for friends, her children, and her neighbors.
- Our fifth recipient lost her spouse within three short days of a COVID diagnosis. The couple serves as caregivers to many local children, who call them “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. The passing of the spouse has been a blow to many members of this tight-knit community.
There were so many other stories. It is a reminder that the person in line next to us at the grocery store or the post office might be walking through fire at that very moment, and we are not aware.
When the recipients were notified that All Craft would be giving them a gift certificate, many were surprised, but all of them were obviously moved, and there were even some tears.
Finally, All Craft Exteriors would not have been able to help these people our own employees, (truly the “Best Crew in the Business”) had not worked so very hard in 2020. They are all great, and All Craft is a very fortunate company to have them.