If we could harness the smiles of joy from the children and their families who attended the 26th Annual Homeless Children’s Party and convert it to electricity, we could light many future nights no matter how dark some of those nights may be.
On a snowy, blustery Saturday morning, a record number of children and their families were transported from their temporary residences at seven Chicago-area homeless shelters to the James Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chicago. In all, more than 250 children and 100 family members were treated to a festive Christmas party sponsored by the Chicago Electrical Industry (CEI). The girls and boys ranged in age from newborns to 16 and older. Most of the children were under 10-years old.
Each child received a gift from Santa, ably assisted by Mrs. Claus and a record number of volunteer elves. The gifts were collected during the annual Steiner Electric Toy Drive, and similar toy drives at other CEI companies. In addition to getting gifts and meeting Santa, the children and their family enjoyed a holiday meal of turkey with all the trimmings.
After every child received a gift, Santa and Mrs. Claus exited the hall with a trail of happy, but exhausted, children in their wake. As the families departed, volunteers thanked them for coming and gave them a goodie bag to take with them as they were transported back to the shelters.
Through donations from CEI members, all the day’s expenses were covered. Excess funds will be used to buy much needed items for the shelters whose residents attended the party. In year’s past, the CEI has provided computers, printers, mattresses, and linens to these facilities. Additionally, the remaining gifts were donated to the Hesed House in Aurora. The shelter provides food, housing and other necessities to those in need.
The holiday season brings out the good in most people, but sometimes the not so good in others. A recent event brought out both actions.
On Nov. 16, a woman stole a donation jar filled with money earmarked for two Rockford-based charitable organizations. The theft at the Treasures Galore Resale Shop in Rockford, reported by the Rockford Scanner, prompted a man to donate $300 dollars from his own pocket.
The anonymous donor wore a Steiner Electric t-shirt. While we do not know if he was a Steiner employee, customer, or just someone who ended up with a Steiner shirt, we applaud him for his generosity and encourage others to learn more about the organizations to whom the donated money was earmarked: the Rockford Rescue Mission and The Carpenters Place.
The Rockford Rescue Mission provides assistance to the homeless, near-homeless, addicted, and the working poor in the Rock River Valley. Each month, the Mission provides nearly 142,000 meals and 50,000 nights of lodging for area men, women, and children. To learn more about this group, visit www.rockfordrescuemission.org.
The Carpenters Place provides “the tools necessary for rebuilding the lives of the homeless” including necessities such as shower facilities, secure storage for their belongings, and a mailing address. In addition, case management teams work one-on-one with those in need to develop a personal Life Recovery Plan. For more information, visit www.carpentersplace.org.
In the same spirit of giving, Steiner Electric has matched the donation made by this generous individual.
Steiner Electric employees and its customers once again stepped up—in a big way—to help Rockford-area children-in-need by collecting warm clothing.
This year, Steiner collected a record number of clothing items at its 9 facilities across the area. Items collected included:
31 pairs of gloves/mittens
3 pairs of snow boots
This was the 16th year that Steiner Electric had partnered with the Salvation Army for its annual Koats4Kids drive.
In addition to collecting the items at Steiner Electric facilities, the company played a major role in the area-wide effort. “As we have for years, Steiner was a big contributor to the drive, providing transportation and delivery of collection barrels and huts,” says Jeff Nagel, Steiner Electric’s Rockford inventory control manager.
Steiner volunteer crews transported the collection huts and barrels to-and-from 35 area donation sites. The huts were built primarily by Steiner traffic supervisor Gene Bullock.
If you’d still like to contribute, it is never too late to help. You can donate directly to the Salvation Army via its donation page by clicking here.
With winter approaching, some of the most vulnerable in our society — children and young people — could use a little help to stay warm and Steiner Electric, the Salvation Army and the Rockford community once again stepped up to help area children in need.
For the 16th year, Steiner Electric partnered with the Salvation Army for its annual Koats4Kids drive. Steiner is pivotal in collecting and distributing cold-weather clothing to children in Rockford and the surrounding areas who may otherwise go without during the cold winter months.
“Contributing to this cause is a no-brainer,” says Jeff Nagel, Rockford Distribution Center Manager. “The coats collected this year will be used this year to help children who otherwise might not have a warm coat. It is hard to think of a more worthy cause.”
Nagel points to one of Steiner’s employees who rarely takes credit for his efforts, but gives his time, and carpentry expertise, to this cause. Traffic Supervisor Gene Bullock has been supporting the drive for 16 years, primarily through the construction of sturdy, wooden collection huts.
“Steiner got involved and all of a sudden we needed solid huts to keep the donated clothes dry and clean,” says Bullock. “That is how I started helping this cause. It is a way to give back to the community. With everything going on in the world it is easy to think about other things, but the children have got to stay warm. It is one of life’s simplest human needs. ”
Bullock constructs the tall, wooden huts with spring-hinged doors for easy access. They are built directly on a pallet so that a Steiner crew using a pallet jack and company truck can move them where needed.
Steiner provides all the transportation for the delivery and collection of the huts and barrels to and from 35 donation sites.
Nagel says that donations of the following items are always needed:
Donated items must be in good wearable condition, clean, and not have any holes or stains. Adult sizes are accepted as many kids wear them.
Items donated at Steiner’s Will-Call Counters were transferred back to Steiner’s Rockford facility and then transferred en masse to the Salvation Army.
If you’d like to contribute, it is not too late to help. The Koats4Kids Campaign runs through Oct. 21, and you can donate directly to the Salvation Army’s donation page by clicking here.
Koats for Kids Coat Drive
In 2016, Steiner Electric donated the following items to the Koats for Kids clothing drive.
There are certain times in life when a young person needs a helping hand, a nod, a show of faith from someone outside their immediate family. One of the more challenging times is the transition from the safety net of high school to the world of college.
For a group of young students, including children of Steiner Electric employees, this affirmation came in the way of scholarships from the Steiner Kerman Education Foundation.
For example, Amanda Chapman, daughter of Steiner Electric Will Call sales representative Paul Chapman and graduate of Glenbard East High School, responded to the news of her scholarship with a thank you note.
“Thank you for sponsoring this generous scholarship,” she wrote. “This scholarship will immensely help my financial obligations and help further my higher education … thank you so much for believing in my future at the college of DuPage by awarding me the Steiner Kerman Foundation Scholarship.”
Chapman was one of three winners of scholarships earmarked for children of employees. The other winners included Nicole Cermak, daughter of John Cermak, who works inside sales at the company’s St Charles facility. Nicole graduated from Hampshire High School in May and will be attending Illinois State University in the fall. “I will be studying Business in Accounting as I hope to get my masters in professional accountancy,” she said.
The third winner is Catherine Genevieve Goebel, daughter of Chris Goebel, applications engineer in the Power Systems Division. Goebel is a graduate of Metea High School where she had a 4.0 GPA. She will attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she will play piccolo in the Marching Illini Band.
The Foundation also has programs geared for students who are not children of employees.
This year, for instance, April Dzik from Hobart (Ind.) High School won a scholarship. The athlete and volunteer at her church and with local community groups will enter Indiana University Northwest (Gary) as a second semester first-year student having taking dual credit classes. She will be studying psychology and elementary education.
Another winner was Marc Clay, a 2017 graduate from Elk Grove High School. Marc will be attending Harper College where he will be studying in the nursing degree program. Nursing became a passion for Marc a couple years ago when an injury put him in the hospital and in contact with medical health professionals. That was a turning point, as he turned away from business, which had been an interest, and toward health care. He has already become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), and is working in the health field while going to to school.
These students have more in common than similar ages and graduation dates. From their applications, it is evident that they embody the respect and initiative that represent the values on which the Foundation was created,says Carol Kerman, president of The
Steiner Kerman Education Foundation.
The Foundation was established in 2007 by Harold Kerman, who was at the time the company’s CEO, and over the last decade it has awarded more than $450,000 in scholarship monies. This includes scholarships awarded to Steiner employee children ($290,000), and scholarships presented to high schools and colleges in the municipalities near Steiner Electric locations as well as the Chicago Electric Association Education Foundation ($160,350). The Fund, which was established from Kerman’s personal holdings and is not funded by company profits, was started “as a way to give back and in appreciation for opportunities given to him,” Carol Kerman says.
In his younger days, Harold Kerman got a hand up from his aunt. She gave the 1937 graduate of Von Steuben High School, a public high school on Chicago’s North Side, money to attend Wright Junior College. This helping hand led to night school at Northwestern University where he graduated in 1941. After graduation, he served in the armed forces during WWII and upon his return he passed the CPA exam in 1946.
“The Steiner Kerman Education Foundation bases scholarships on an individual’s need and goals,” explained Carol Kerman. “Careful consideration is given to the prospects ability to view the world, ‘As if your glass is half full.’
“High School students are in a delicate phase of life,” she added. “The Steiner Kerman Education foundation focuses on fostering positive impact that continues the student’s path to fulfillment.”
For more information on the scholarship program, click here.
Huntington’s Disease has been called the “quintessential family disease” because every child of a parent with HD has a 50 percent chance of carrying the faulty, deadly gene. Steiner Electric was proud to be a corporate sponsor at this year’s fundraising event on May 21.
Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain can causes a lessening in a person’s physical and mental abilities. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 30 to 50, and can worsen over a 10- to 25-year period. There is no cure.
Approximately 30,000 Americans are symptomatic of the disease, and more than 200,000 others are at-risk of inheriting a gene that over time can mutate and trigger HD symptoms. Within many families, multiple generations have inherited this expanded gene.
According to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), symptoms of HD varies from person to person, even within the same family. The progression of the disease can be roughly divid
ed into three stages. In the early stage, HD usually includes subtle changes in coordination. In the middle stage, movement disorder becomes more pronounced, and in the late stage, the person with HD is dependent on others for their care as their brain cells die.
Donations to the HDSA advocacy group supports research into new therapies, provides services and referrals to HD families and individuals trying to cope with the effects of the disease, and expands educational programs and develops informational materials to bring great awareness and further education about HD.
To learn more about HD, and the work of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, visit www.hdsa.org or phone (800) 345-HDSA.
To all those who ran, walked and biked, as well as those whose physical contribution equated to reaching into their wallets, congratulations on helping Team Steiner surpass its 2017 goal to raise funds for the American Cancer Society in its annual Walk & Roll event.
On April 22, 49 active members of Team Steiner participated during the American Cancer Society’s Walk & Roll event that kicked off at Soldier Field. Not only did they work up a healthy sweat by walking or running a 5k race, skating in a 10k, or biking a 15k, Team Steiner helped raised $6,571, which is 31% greater than the goal of $5,000 set before the event occurred.
In addition, an online auction of various prizes brought in pledges of more than $10,600. The auction included Cubs vs. Reds baseball tickets donated by Steiner Electric that garnered a $190 winning bid.
In total, Walk & Roll Chicago raised more than $450,000 with donations continuing to come in. According to Samantha Kuderna, community manager, special events for the American Cancer Society, donations are expected until June 30, “when we most likely will be over $500,000.”
Steiner Electric raised money in conjunction with the Chicago Electrical Industry (CEI). In all, there were 22 teams with 450 participants under the CEI Community Outreach umbrella and more than $110,000 was raised to date. The CEI program, launched in 2011, is comprised of Steiner and more than 20 other distributors, electrical contractors, and manufacturers. Since its inception, the group has raised over $1.5 million for the American Cancer Society.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than one million people get cancer each year. Most of the money raised from this event, and others like it across the country, is funneled directly to research in an effort to gain a better understanding of what causes cancer to form, how to treat it, and, in the end, prevent the myriad of cancers from forming in the first place.
Kuderna added: “Thank you so much for your continued hard work and dedication, it is truly inspiring. The amount of passion Steiner has for our life-saving mission is truly incredible. I am extremely grateful to be able to work with such passionate volunteers like yourself and companies that rally their employees around this critical cause.”
Lace up your sneakers, strap on those skates, pump up those tires, and join fellow Steiner Electric employees who have pledged to go the distance at the American Cancer Society’s 46th annual Walk & Roll fundraising event.
Come out and help raise dollars used to fund lifesaving research and the free programs and services offered to cancer patients and survivors. If you can’t make the event, show your support by pledging funds online. Your dollars, no matter the amount, can make a big difference. Currently, Steiner has several folks who have made a pledge, and, as a group, Steiner is nearing its goal of raising $5,000.
Pledge with the Steiner Team
This year, the event kicks off at 8:30am and routes begin at 10am on April 22 from Soldier Field, and participants can enjoy the lakefront view as they walk or run a 5k, skate in a 10k, or bike a 15k race. There will also be live music and entertainment.
General registration is $15, but kids 17 and under can participate for free. This fee will be credited towards the fundraiser to help raise awareness and find a cure for cancer. As an extra incentive for donating, each person that raises $100 will receive a free, long-sleeve performance t-shirt. Pledge larger amounts, and earn even more valuable awards.
Check-in on the day of the event begins at 8:30am at the Packet Pick-Up Tent on Soldier Field’s Stadium Green. Early packet pickup is available on Friday, April 21, from 4pm-7pm, at the DICK’S Sporting Goods store in Lincoln Park, 1538 N Clybourn Ave., Chicago.
Want some company? You can walk along with us by joining the Steiner Team. Our team is committed to helping the American Cancer Society raise awareness about what we can do, together, to help end this disease. Our mission is clear – keep fighting for the day when no one hears the words “you have cancer.”
Saturday, April 22, 2017
8:30am – Registration / Event Site Opens
10:00am – Routes Open
Soldier Field, Stadium Green
1410 Museum Campus Drive , Chicago, IL
The registration fee per participant is $15 and will be credited toward the fundraising goal.
The 2016 Walk and Roll Chicago Online Silent Auction is LIVE!
The Walk & Roll Auction has been created by generous event partner, the Chicago Electrical Industry (CEI), with major support from BP and other partners including Steiner Electric. The Auction is open to all and the funds raised directly support the mission of the American Cancer Society and have been generously donated.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 1.7 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year. Every dollar raised makes a life-saving difference and helps to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
The Auction is easy to use and open to all! Simply…
Register via your mobile phone (by text) for the auction today!
Text the keyword, walkroll2016, to the number 24700
Reply with your full name to the message from the GiveSmart system
Click the blue link in your welcome message to open your mobile browser
Start browsing and bidding on silent auction items
Don’t want to register via your mobile phone? You can view items online by visiting the Auction website. You may click the “Register for Auction” link on the website, and you’ll receive a welcome email with a link that will allow you to bid online only.
Hurry! You can preview and bid on your favorite items until 8PM CST on Tuesday, April 26.