For nearly twenty years employees at Komatsu’s Milwaukee, WI facility have been volunteering their time for an organization called The Gathering. The organization feeds meals to Milwaukee’s hungry at three locations throughout the city. Typically, employees have volunteered to serve the mid-day meal on Saturdays but this summer they answered a call for help and started serving breakfast.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and for some who seek The Gathering’s support, it might be the only meal of the day. When the Gathering found themselves short on help various departments throughout Komatsu stepped up and offered a hand.
In July, the Finance team led the charge. With torrential downpours that morning it was hard to say how busy the group would be but they got to work prepping bacon, making toast and grinding coffee before serving up a hot meal to nearly 100 guests.
Byron Smith, Senior Financial Analyst, shared that he was impressed by “The amount of planning and resource it took to make everything come together and the dedication of the team that do the breakfasts on a daily basis” adding, “I really enjoyed it, having the opportunity to be able to volunteer through work makes it easier to be made aware of opportunities.”
Later that month John Koetz, President-Surface Mining, and the executive leadership team took their turn at serving up scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, oatmeal, toast, fresh fruit, donuts, coffee and juice. Everyone on the team found a way to contribute to the meal. John was joined by George Patrick, Director Global Commercial Management, and they spent the prep time making and buttering toast. Brooke Alexy, Vice President ＆ General Counsel, and Aimee Therrian, Director-Human Resources, sliced countless oranges. The team also learned that Brian Fox- Vice President-Product Development, was a pro at washing dishes, so much so that he stayed behind the rest of the group to finish the job!
Inspired by his experience this summer, Brian Fox invited the Product Development and Smart Solutions teams to serve a meal in October. Brian shared the dish washing fun this time and the group some twenty people strong served an unconventional breakfast. As Miss Pat, the chef for The Gathering’s breakfast meal program, will tell you, “breakfast doesn’t always mean eggs and bacon, we serve what we receive.” The meal included barbecue chicken, burgers, mashed potatoes, green beans and more. Nearly 200 guests were served that morning, all appreciative of the meal and hospitality.
Employees at Komatsu are gearing up to serve the Thanksgiving meal to guests of The Gathering and another department is already recruiting to serve breakfast before the end of 2017.