The Fuel Tax Team in the Community
Fuel Tax Program Supervisor, Kimberly Peters presenting the Friday Food Bag Foundation
with funds raised from the recent 2012 puzzle fundraiser.
We are the State of Wyoming Fuel Tax Administration Team. While our primary focus is administering fuel tax law for the State of Wyoming, we are also committed to giving back to the community we live in. We are a very driven, highly functioning team, so we work hard and we give back to our community with a passion that is unmatched. We hope to challenge and encourage every department within state government to give back to their community by working together to make a difference in the lives of those that could use a hand.
As part of one of our strategic goals laid out in our Balanced Scorecard, we have committed as a team to take on at least one community service project each quarter, and we are gratified by the difference we have been able to make in the Cheyenne community over the past two years. We definitely approach this goal as a team, and in many cases the activities and events we choose offer both team building opportunities as well as opportunities to serve our community.
Our team went above and beyond and completed three community service events during the fourth quarter of 2011. The most exciting event for the team was puzzle fundraiser for the Friday Food Bag Foundation in Laramie County. In mid-September, the FTA Highly Functioning Strategic Work Team purchased several puzzles with the intent of providing a distraction to team members when they needed a break from the work on their desks. In short order, one of our team members hatched the idea of gluing and framing the completed puzzles and auctioning them off in an effort to raise money for a charity.
From that idea came the Friday Food Bag FUN-draiser where the FTA Team conducted a silent auction of 22 professionally framed and matted picture puzzles in support of the need being filled by the Friday Food Bag Foundation. Each team member committed to bringing in one puzzle, and team members were joined by other WYDOT employees to complete such a large number of puzzles in a little more than two months. The silent auction was held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 7. The framing and matting of the puzzles were generously donated by Michaels of Cheyenne and Ken Hertel.
We were very pleased to have such a great turnout for the silent auction, and we were also very fortunate that Thrivent offered to match 25 percent of the amount we raised. The puzzle fundraiser raised more than $3,700 for the Friday Food Bag Foundation, and we are very grateful to all who participated.
The Friday Food Bag Foundation works with educators and social workers from both LCSD #1 and LCSD #2 to deliver bags of nutritious, non-perishable food each Friday while school is in session to children who otherwise might not eat well, or at all, during the weekends.
While the students receive nutritional meals during the week through free or reduced fee breakfasts and lunches, many still do not have consistent access to nutritious food (or any food at all) on the weekends. Wyoming Department of Education data indicates, for the 2010-2011 school year, 45.8 percent of all students in LCSD #1, and 36.4 percent of all students in LCSD #2, qualified for free or reduced fee meals.
“Children don’t create their circumstances, they just live them, and I think that is why our team is so focused on directing our community service commitment to activities and events that directly benefit children,” said Wayne Hassinger, program supervisor.
For more information about how you can help the Friday Food Bag Foundation, please call (307) 778-4254.
Once again this year the FTA Team adopted a family for the holidays through the Salvation Army Adopt-A-Family program.
“It is so gratifying to come together as a team and help out people less fortunate than us — especially during the holiday season,” said Kim Peters, senior tax examiner.
Team members donated money to the cause and then gathered for a holiday lunch prior to splitting up to go shopping for clothes and toys. All of the presents were wrapped the following week and delivered to the Salvation Army.
On Nov. 2, the Fuel Tax Team partnered with the Motor Vehicle Services Program to help support a local charity known as Connections Corner.
Connections Corner is a charity in Laramie County that builds community resources, relationships and understanding to bridge the gap between poverty and overall well-being. They do this through several avenues: Working with individuals and families to explore the resources necessary for self-sufficiency, training community members from all walks of life on the complex issues surrounding poverty, holding weekly community-building dinners, building and supporting intentional friendships, and finally offering a 15-week course called Getting Ahead in a Just-Getting-By World.
FTA and MVS prepared a meal of ham, potatoes, green beans and brownie sundaes for the weekly dinner. We were very excited to be able to feed 55 people at the event. We were also able to send pre-packaged homemade meals of ham and beans with cornbread home with the participants to have at a future time. FTA and MVS would like to thank Jo-Ed Produce, King Soopers and Wal-Mart for their support. Without their very generous donations, this event would not have been possible.
Over the past several years we have: participated in the Salvation Army's Adopt-A-Family program during the holidays; supported the Laramie County CASA program; participated in the Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne Chili Challenge fundraiser; collected clothing and household items for the Comea House; raised funds for the annual MS Ride in Wyoming; prepared and served a dinner for the Connections Corner organization that assists those in the community working to transition out of poverty; and, our most recent project of building and auctioning framed puzzles to support the Friday Food Bag Foundation. We are very happy to announce that we have wrapped-up the silent auction for the Friday Food Bag Foundation and we have already delivered the gifts to our adopted family. It really does feel good to give back.
We couldn't accomplish all of these projects without the support of our management team here at WYDOT and the support of many businesses in Cheyenne that willingly donate items and/or man hours to our projects. Our team is very passionate about the work we perform for the State of Wyoming each day, and we are equally passionate about our commitment to making our community a better place for everyone that lives here.
Thank you for supporting us and the charities that we work for.