Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Linfield Football Holiday Family Adoption program was a great success!

I wanted to make sure I let the Linfield family know about how their Catdomealumni.com T-Shirt money was put to work this holiday season and Senior Defensive Lineman Joe Seifert, took the time to provide a great account of how the money was put together and just how big of an impact this program had on local McMinnville Families.

This is really a tremendous deal that is put on by the football program and I'm so very proud of this senior group and their efforts on and off the field! Go 'Cats!
From Linfield Senior Defensive Lineman Joe Seifert

This year Linfield Football’s holiday family adoption program expanded from our normal Thanksgiving Feed to this year’s special Christmas edition. We decided not to do our traditional Thanksgiving feed because of the way the academic schedule worked out this fall. Students were not on campus or around town during Thanksgiving because we had the entire week off this year instead of just a few days. We also decided we needed to do a Christmas program that could involve not only large amounts of food but Christmas gifts as well.

This year we were fortunate enough to come up with a few thousand dollars to spend instead of our traditional few hundred. I will explain how that worked out… Last summer I was an intern at Delap LLP (an accounting firm) in Lake Oswego, Oregon. 2008 happened to be the firm’s 75th anniversary and it was decided that it would be more beneficial to donate time and treasure to local communities instead of holding one big event for firm staff and clients to celebrate. Beginning in July of 2008, Delap had a monthly community service event scheduled to donate their time and treasure to in the Portland Metro area. Back in June I saw a list of the events and I noticed that December was designated as “the people’s choice event.” Immediately I thought of what the CATS had done for families at Thanksgiving in years past and knew that we could expand to a much larger Christmas event if given the opportunity. I did some calling around during the summer and knew finding families would not be a problem come the holidays, so I put a plan together and submitted it for review by the partners. I thought my suggestion had a good chance of being selected because Dave DeLap, the firms managing partner, is a 1980 graduate of Linfield College, and two more of Delap’s partners had grown up in McMinnville. I knew that they all could connect with the idea and then it would just be up to them to decide if it was something they wanted to do. In September, I received a phone call saying that funding had been approved for Linfield’s Holiday family adoption program.

Thanks to Delap LLP for that sponsorship as it got the ball rolling and somewhat determined how many families we would be able to sponsor and if we were in fact going to be able to do gifts. With a sizeable donation already in place, we took what we had across the street to Roth’s and asked their manager to stretch our funds. The manager remembered our program from years past and without much discussion threw in an additional few hundred dollars in groceries. Additional finding came from the Linfield Football players themselves. Every year we ask team members to throw in a dollar or two if they can. Traditionally this is our primary source of funding and with such a large team, it makes raising a few hundred dollars very easy. To top it off and add to our abnormally large total this year, THANKS TO ALL OF YOU who purchased catdomealumni shirts, an additional $1,000 was raised for this cause as well! We appreciate your support and also want to say thanks to Wildcat11 for his time creating and selling those shirts.

Having well over $4,000 to work with, we were able to adopt 9 families that range in size from two to eight people in the McMinnville area. For each of these families, we wanted to provide them with a turkey and plenty of food for a holiday meal as well as additional groceries to get them through the holidays. In addition to groceries we felt it would be nice to give each family member 2 gifts. With so much support all around us, this was actually made very easy.

The shopping started on Sunday, December 7th. A group of us seniors, and Coach Kemper, went to Target in Sherwood to shop for all of the gifts we wanted to purchase for the families. In about 2 hours we piled 5 shopping carts full of gifts and spent nearly $1,500!

On Wednesday, December 10th, Linfield players teamed up with Delap employees (including former wildcat Ryan Boatsman) to shop for food and wrap all of the gifts that had been purchased. Half of the group went food shopping while the other half remained on campus and wrapped all of the gifts. Food shopping took place across the street at Roth’s. Each shopping team was given a budget for food of a few hundred dollars. Surprisingly at the register, teams were within just a few dollars of where they were supposed to be! Even more impressive, the entire food bill rang up within $1.52 of our budgeted amount of over $2,000!!! Thanks again to Roth’s for helping stretch our money and really stock these families up. Along with the food we purchased, Roth’s also had gift cards made for each family so that perishable foods could be purchased on a return trip to the store.

Once the food was purchased it was taken back to campus for sorting by family. Upon arrival to campus, players found that 10 pizzas had been delivered for lunch courtesy of Delap, again! After lunch, the food sorting and boxing had been completed as well as all of the wrapping. Then all of the goods were loaded up and ready for delivery. In all, there were over 75 man hours used to complete the wrapping as well as food shopping and sorting that morning. Around 1:00 PM the Delap team headed back to the office.

Wednesday evening, 10 of us went to deliver food and gifts to the families around town. We were able to meet the families 1 by 1, explain our project, and then tell them that we had something for them. We then stepped aside and showed them the 4-5 large boxes of food and the huge box of gifts that would be given to them. By their reactions, most of these families were not expecting anything at all. If they were expecting something, I think they expected just 1 box of food. It was easy to tell that the mothers of the families were the most touched and the words “thank you” were a struggle for most to say. The kids had huge similes on their faces and began to dig through the boxes. The Although none of the presents were opened while we were there, we all know the kids just could not wait to tear them open. For some, we were certain those gifts may very well be all they receive over the holidays. We couldn’t have done this without all of our supporters! Thanks to everyone both on and off the field!

-Your 2008 Senior Class.


Downtown48 said...

Awesome story, very nice work!

Wildcat 11 said...

It is an awesome story and you can bet that Catdomealumni.com will be working up a new batch of shirts for the '09 season to help with this program.

Now, I just need to come up with a new idea!