Cassie Hataway and Paul Leiva of JBS Cactus were at the Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center of Dumas temporary offices in the Calvary Baptist Church Friday, February 5 to present a check for $10,000 to Care Net Executive Director Monica Sullivan. The money will go to support Care Net's annual school supply charity event for families with school-age children who are facing financial difficulties and need assistance purchasing the many things their children need for school.
JBS has been one of the donors and partners behind the event for several years. "Through that program and partnership and donations we have been able to bless hundreds of kids and their families with school supplies each year, so JBS thought that was really a valuable donation to make to the community through our Hometown Strong program," said Hataway Friday.
"It will be nice to get a jump start on our shopping way ahead of time … that is exciting," said Sullivan.
Sullivan says school supplies are not cheap, and low-income parents often struggle to afford everything their children need to be successful in school. She says she began the event when she saw how great the need is in Moore County and how many families need support. "If the family unit isn't healthy the kids will not have a chance," she said. The economic dislocations of the COVID pandemic have made the need even greater.
The event takes place in August every year before the start of school. Last year Care Net and partners served more than 1000 children at a drive-through-only event held at the Moore County Community Building because of the COVID pandemic and the need for social distancing. In previous years families went from station to station in front of the Moore County Courthouse, while JBS personnel cooked everyone hamburgers. How the event is held this year will depend on the state of the pandemic in August.
In addition to the money Friday, JBS recently donated $225,000 to Care Net to help fund the renovation of the organization's future offices on 5th Street across from the First Baptist Church. That donation too was part of the company's Hometown Strong initiative to invest more than $50 million dollars in the communities across the country where JBS USA and Pilgrim's Pride facilities are located. Pilgrim's Pride is owned by JBS. The company has announced an intention to spend $3 million in Moore County on COVID relief and quality-of-life projects. In addition to Care Net, the company has made large donations to Dumas Little League and the Moore County Hospital District, among others.