Being an active part of the community is important, Dennis Slater said
By Diego Flammini
An industry organization is supporting its community through charitable donations.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., will donate close to $20,000 to non-profit organizations in the area.
AEM originally planned to use the funds to hold events during the Democratic National Convention. But when COVID-19 shifted in-person events to virtual gatherings, the organization decided to funnel the money back into the community.
“It’s a COVID story that has some good in it,” Dennis Slater, the president of AEM, told Farms.com. “Instead of asking for refunds from local businesses, we decided to look at giving money to non-profit groups that are in need.”
AEM staff provided suggestions on which organizations to support.
“Our staff has always been great with this sort of thing and came back with many great options,” Slater said.
One non-profit to receive support through gift certificates is Street Angels.
Angela Weller, middle, representing AEM, and members of the Street Angels.
This organization, located at 445 W. Oklahoma Ave. in Milwaukee, works to feed and shelter the homeless while also doing important advocacy work.
These vouchers will help ensure some of the community’s most vulnerable people receive a good meal and a warm place to sleep.
“Sadly, with the lack of adequate shelter space in our community, Street Angels sees anywhere from 100 to 200 people sleeping on the streets each night we are out,” Eva Welch, co-founder and director of Street Angels, said in a statement. “Thanks to the support from AEM and other community members, we can at least ensure the folks we see will not go to sleep wet and hungry.”
Other community groups that will receive AEM donations include:
- Tandem 2020, which provides school tutoring and meals for students
- The Guest House of Milwaukee, which helps prevent homelessness
- Urban Ecology Center, which provides outdoor science education for urban youth
- Journey House, which focuses on adult education and youth and family engagement
Community outreach is an important part of being a successful business.
Tomorrow’s business leaders see community support just as important as making the bottom line read properly, Slater said.
“All of our (member groups) said that you have to be part of your communities today,” he said. “You can’t just be here to do business. The next generation looks at the world a little bit differently and there’s a real movement about looking at everyone as one community and working together.”