The holiday season is often a time when our hearts are filled with generosity and compassion, a time that beckons us to look beyond ourselves and share light with others. Every year, Melaleuca: The Wellness Company and its Team Members, along with the Melaleuca Foundation, embrace the true spirit of the holidays by engaging in a variety of charitable acts.
Over the last few months, Melaleuca has partnered with several nonprofits. In partnership with The Salvation Army, Melaleuca provided Christmas gifts to families in need, funded a community Thanksgiving dinner, and fundraised for the remodel of a kitchen facility that increases capacity for an all new soup kitchen.
Recently, Melaleuca helped St. Vincent de Paul buy a new box truck that collects and distributes food to less-fortunate families. We also ensured their Christmas Basket Project, which provided everything that goes underneath a Christmas tree for 201 families, wasn’t cancelled this year!
Additionally, The Wellness Company made significant financial donations to the Shepherd’s Inn, a nonprofit that helps and educates young women facing an unplanned pregnancy, the United Way, Feeding America, Heart 2 Hand Food Bank, and the Community Food Basket.
The Giving Tree: A Symbol of Christmas Spirit
Each year, a Christmas giving tree stands tall at Melaleuca facilities. Hanging from its branches are not only ornaments but tags, each providing information about a child in need. And every year, Melaleuca Team Members enthusiastically select these tags and purchase appropriate gifts for each child.
As these presents find their way under the giving tree, they become more than just toys, clothing and other practical gifts. Each one represents a special child with a simple Christmas wish. The gifts are delivered to The Salvation Army and given to the specific families and children in need, fulfilling Christmas miracles and ensuring those children know they are not forgotten.
“Melaleuca employees constantly show generosity and compassion,” Salvation Army Captain Steve Staneart said. “The number of gifts that Melaleuca delivered to us was tremendous. As a result of their Christmas spirit, so many special children will have brighter smiles, more laughter, and a lot more joy this Christmas season!”
The Christmas Basket Project
For 40 years, the Christmas Basket Project in Idaho Falls has been run by St. Vincent de Paul, the First Presbyterian Church, Christ the King Church, and the Holy Rosary Church. The project is ambitious, with volunteers gathering food, clothing, gifts, and bicycles to distribute to qualifying families.
To house all the materials, a large space is needed. Typically, securing a space each year hasn’t been difficult. This year, however, proved different. After months of searching, the volunteers couldn’t secure a suitable facility to complete the project. The clock was ticking, and the volunteers became desperate as each day passed without a viable solution. They needed a Christmas miracle, or they would have no choice but to cancel the Christmas Basket Project!
Once Melaleuca learned of the dire circumstances, they committed to not let that happen. The day before St. Vincent de Paul was forced to cancel the event, Melaleuca CEO Jerry Felton agreed that The Wellness Company would provide a 28,000-square-foot warehouse for the volunteers. The project was saved! And the families and children would receive their Christmas gifts!
As a result, the Christmas Basket Project served 201 families and 628 children this year. Roger Mayes, a member of the First Presbyterian Church who has volunteered with the Christmas Basket project for decades, expressed his gratitude for Melaleuca’s charitable spirit.
“We were beyond thrilled when we found out that Melaleuca would be donating a large warehouse space for us,” he said. “This project is such a great example of different faiths and groups coming together to bless the community. It helps so many needy families, especially kids, have a merry Christmas. Words really can’t express how grateful we are to Melaleuca for stepping in to save the project through their contribution!”
Buying Food through Three Nonprofits
Melaleuca recently donated over $30,000 to the United Way of Bonneville County, the Heart 2 Hand Bingham Food Pantry, and Feeding America. All of these funds are being used to buy food for struggling families.
In working with the United Way, Melaleuca paid for bags of food that fed 400 children, helping them stay nourished when their school cafeterias are closed over Christmas break. School guidance counselors and teachers recommended these children for this program.
The director of Heart 2 Hand Bingham Food Pantry, Jen Worlton, said Melaleuca’s gift came at the perfect time because the food warehouse was running low on funds and supplies.
“Melaleuca recently approached our food pantry with a financial gift that will help thousands of people get through some challenging times ahead,” Worlton said. “We are seeing more working families than ever walk through our door, many needing assistance for the first time in their lives. Because of Melaleuca’s help, we will not need to turn good people away empty handed. They will receive they food they need with dignity.”
Buying a New Truck for a Food Pantry
St. Vincent de Paul, which runs a food bank and a thrift store, was given $6,000 by the Melaleuca Foundation. With this donation, St. Vincent de Paul completed the purchase of a new box truck, crucial for delivering food and supplies to over 100 people each week.
Building a New Soup Kitchen
“There is so much potential with that space, but we have been limited in using it,” said Captain Staneart. “Melaleuca is helping us create a commercial kitchen to better serve vulnerable populations such as the elderly and children, who suffer the most from food insecurity in Idaho Falls. Our collaboration will transform this community for the better. Melaleuca has provided support, connections, expertise, and funds to create a new asset for a group of people who desperately need it.”
As a result of Melaleuca’s donation, an extensive remodel will install a 12-foot commercial hood and the appropriate fire suppression system, brand-new grills, ovens and fryers, freezers, refrigerators, and other new appliances and equipment that meets the highest safety and sanitation standards. Melaleuca has raised $77,000 for this extensive project.
Once completed, the new kitchen will allow The Salvation Army to feed the hungry with vastly increased efficiency and foster positive change in the community.
Feeding the Hungry on Thanksgiving
Partnering with The Salvation Army, Melaleuca has made an indelible mark on the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. For the last three years, Melaleuca Team Members and the Melaleuca Foundation have been gladly covering the cost of the meal.
This year, Melaleuca donated the entire $4,000 needed for the dinner. Over 900 individuals were able to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving feast, more than double the number of people from the previous year.
This may seem like a mere statistic, but it’s a sobering reminder that food insecurity is rising in America.
Melaleuca’s Ongoing Commitment to the Community Food Basket
Melaleuca not only organized its own food drive but also created and paid for four additional food drive campaigns for the Community Food Basket, a local food bank in Idaho Falls that serves an average of 1,500 families each month.
And the community responded! The food drives were enormously successful, and many organizations stepped up and volunteered to help sort and organize the food.
On four separate days over the course of four weeks, more than 140 Melaleuca Team Members volunteered at the Community Food Basket to sort thousands and thousands of pounds of food and assemble 500 holiday dinner boxes.
“This nonprofit runs very lean, so Melaleuca’s energetic volunteers saved us from months of sorting cans, which means we can distribute this inventory faster than ever before,” said Ariel Jackson, executive director of the Community Food Basket. “Beyond this work, Melaleuca has helped us purchase this very warehouse, bought several freezers, promoted food drives across the region, and even built a shop for those to make food donations after business hours. Melaleuca is one of our best partners!”
Creating a Better Community
Melaleuca’s commitment to making a difference shines brightly in the community, and the company is proud to make a difference and empower local nonprofits to amplify their positive impact within the community.
Charitable giving and volunteerism are not just good acts. They’re a transformative force that can shape the people in a community for good, especially during the holiday season. Our nation, towns, and neighborhoods are all better places when we reach out to help those in need.