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JBS employees give big: Record $122,431.75 given to United Way of Nobles County

WORTHINGTON -- A fundraising effort that began in September received a huge boost thanks to the kindness and generosity of the employees at one of Worthington's largest employers.

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JBS employees pose for a photo Monday with Ryan McGaughey (right of check), president of the United Way of Nobles County Board of Directors. JBS employees this year donated $122,431.75 to United Way, an increase of $21,937.75 from last year’s total. Robin Baumgarn/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON - A fundraising effort that began in September received a huge boost thanks to the kindness and generosity of the employees at one of Worthington’s largest employers. 

Employees at JBS presented the United Way of Nobles County with a check Monday afternoon that both exceeded expectations and they amount they gave last year. The 2016 JBS employee contribution is a whopping $122,431.75.
This year’s United Way campaign is seeking a total of $165,000 in donations. As of early Monday afternoon, the campaign had generated $37,451.84, or approximately 23 percent of the goal. Following the JBS check presentation, however, the United Way campaign had $159,883.59 - 96.9 percent of its goal. The 2016 amount is $21,931.75 more than the previous JBS donation of $100,500. JBS’s production department contributed $87,439.75 to this year’s total, while management donated $34,992. 

United Way Vice President and JBS employee Cindy Elsing said 79 percent of production workers and 75 percent of management donated to the cause. 

JBS offered a number of incentives to employees this year to encourage givingg. The company offered GoPro cameras, parking spaces, televisions, vacation days, gift certificates, Kindle Fires and even overnight stays at the Historic Dayton House.
Len Bakken, human resources director for JBS, said the company increased the types of incentives it offered this year in the form of drawings and will continue to add more next year.
“JBS continues to find creative ways to encourage employees to give generously,” United Way of Nobles County president Ryan McGaughey said. “The United Way of Nobles County is sincerely thankful for the monetary gifts from JBS employees, as well for as for the inclusion of incentives that helped result in such a high level of giving.”
Beyond the opportunity to win prizes, Bakken said the charitable nature of JBS employees is what really drives them to give back.
“(The employees are) very kind and fair people,” Bakken observed. “They have friends and relatives in the community that have used some of these services, so I think they recognize it is a very important way to give back to the community.”
“It just speaks volumes to the kind of people we have here,” JBS general manager Brad Hellinga added.
“This year, more than ever, JBS employees have demonstrated their remarkable capacity to give back to their community,” McGaughey said. “The United Way of Nobles County is profoundly grateful for the outstanding commitment that JBS employees have shown in helping to make Nobles County a better place for everyone.”

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