In eastern Ohio, and particularly in shale counties, the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots program is receiving a major boost from the oil and gas industry.
This year, shale companies such as Rice Energy, Ascent Resources, Nomac Drilling, and Apex Energy, LLC joined forces with industry partners such as the Stark Carroll Oil & Gas Partnership, the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA), and Energy in Depth (EID), as well as local businesses, vendors, and contractors, such as Quality Water Systems and Beaver Excavating, to give underprivileged children in eastern Ohio a Christmas they will never forget.
As local news station WTOV9 recently reported, “Toys for Tots Giving Away More than Just Toys.” Toys for Tots coordinator, Deborah Oberlin recently told EID,
“The oil and gas industry has always been there for us. They have just been a huge help and their efforts have been so much more than just the monetary donations and thousands of new toys contributed by the companies. It’s also been their time, volunteering to make Christmas special for these families, giving back through helping hands and hearts. It has impacted children and families in such a way that I could have never imagined.”
This year Ascent Resources and their Ohio employees, as well as various vendors and contractors, contributed approximately 300 toys totaling over $5,000 in value to Toys for Tots. The toys will be distributed to eight different counties throughout eastern Ohio. In addition to Toys for Tots, the oil and gas operator mobilized their employees and local contractors, such as RMS Sanitation, Evolution Energy Services, Anderson Excavating, Total Safety, Ardent Services, Myers Well Service, Fortis Energy Services, and Nuverra, to raise $2,300 and contributed toys to 22 different families in the Guernsey County as part of the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree this year. In addition, Ascent Resources employees were on hand to help with the distribution of toys to families in need.
As Jade Ordronneau with the Marine Corps said,
“Toys For Tots actually isn’t about the toys. It’s about something you can’t manufacture in a store. I, for one, don’t remember Christmas as a kid, but I always remember unwrapping and those moments with my family.”
As stated above, the efforts are much more than toys manufactured in a store. This holiday giving highlights the relationship between the oil and gas industry and the numerous local service companies that support the industry. Companies such as Beaver Excavating, a local company serving the Appalachian Basin for over sixty years, who’s Senior Vice President, Jack Ford told EID,
“Community Service is one of our core values. Beaver Excavating and our employees have been very active supporters of the United Way, Salvation Army, Regional Food Banks, Project Rebuild, Boy Scouts along with Toys for Tots for many years. Our owners and employees are very generous with their time, talents and money for many charitable organizations. To participate in Toys for Tots is a great opportunity to share some of the success that we have had in the region. We would encourage all beneficiaries of the oil and gas industry to get involved and stay involved in the local charities throughout the region.”
Small businesses also appreciate the boost to the economy and charitable donations this holiday season. As Quality Water Systems General Manager Travis Mong recently told EID,
“Our small business has been operating in Columbiana, Carroll and surrounding counties for over 40 years. It’s been great to see the oil and gas industry bring jobs and give back to the community the way they have. As a local business, it’s nice to see some of these shale operators working alongside companies like ours to give back this Christmas.”
Shale has certainly been a boost to Ohio’s economy, and this year underprivileged children will enjoy thousands of toys thanks to the oil and gas industry and local businesses throughout the region. Of course, everyone will be receiving a gift this year from domestically produced oil and natural gas as the price at the pump is making it easier on families to travel and provide for their families both in Ohio and throughout the country.