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Weather Shield LITE Foundation

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by Brian Wilson NEWS EDITOR ^ If you want to see what is important to an organization, look to its mission statement.

These statements are typically overflowing with lofty goals and flowery

rnJJlL L language, but they all boil down to what an organization believes is important. The mission statement for the Weather Shield Employee LITE Foundation reads: “The employees of Weather Shield are committed to helping people help ^ themselves. Through gifts of time, talent and treasure, we believe that we can help improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. Through improved quality of life on a local level, we will be more able to impact the lives of others at state, national and international levels. Our efforts are guided by the teaching that, ‘What you do to the least of my brothers, that you do to me.’ (Matthew 25:40).”

The last line of the statement is the most telling. The quote is at the heart of why the Weather Shield LITE Foundation places such an emphasis on giving back to the community.

Since its formation in 2000, the foundation has given out more than $2.19 million in grants to area groups. Last year, the foundation distributed $95,891 to organizations and individuals throughout the communities served. In addition 57 people were helped with hardship funds.

LITE stands for Lives Inspired Through Employees. The foundation is run by a board including of Weather Shield employees and a member of the Schield family. Employee committees decide all the grant allocation amounts.

Employees donate to the foundation with the employee gifts matched by the Schield family, which owns Medford-based Weather Shield Windows and Doors. The family also makes an annual donation to the foundation in addition to what is matched by the employees. Last year, 290 employees pledged funds to the LITE Foundation and an additional $17,908 was raised through employee fundraisers.

The foundation offers two types of grants: allocation grants, which are awarded to worthy organizations and carry no monetary limit; and contingency funds to help people facing an unexpected emergency or hardship, such as fire, illness or injury. Last year, the LITE Foundation distributed a total of $16,500 to individuals for immediate hardship expenses. In addition, there were 165 hours worked by volunteers at community events.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is popularly known as “Giving Tuesday,” so it was appropriate that the LITE Foundation allocation ceremony took place that night at the company headquarters. Each of the recipients spoke about their organization and the help the grant money will bring to their efforts.

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, grant allocations were presented to representatives from the following groups: Abiding Care, Athens Area Trail Association, Forest Springs Camp and Conference Center, Christmas Angel Project, Colby Public Library, Community Mission with Jesus, Edgar Childcare, Frances L. Simek Memorial Library, Friends of the Colby Public Library, Friends of the Western Taylor County Public Library, Holy Rosary Catholic School, Huey’s Hideaway, Junior Achievement at Medford Area Public Schools, Medford Kiwanis Club’s Holiday Magic on the Medford Riverwalk, Medford Area Performing Arts Association, Never Forgotten Honor Flight, Salvation Army, Samoset Council of BSA, Sand Box Child Care, Spencer Lions Club, St. Anthony’s School STPA, Taylor County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit, Taylor County Humane Society, The Little Store, Taylor County American Legion Baseball, Central Clark County Community™ ^ Child Care Center and Taylor County Veterans’ Service.

The grant funds will be a used for a diverse number of purposed from helping cover the utility bills for The Little Store, which provides an outlet for senior citizens to earn additional income through the sale of craft items, to helping to replace worn daycare equipment and helping fund a sensory path for autistic children. Although the organizations receiving the funds are diverse, they have a shared mission of serving their communities.