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CAI Gives Back During Holiday Season
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Minnesota Community Living March/April 2010

CAI Gives Back During Holiday Season

By Jared Summers, Schoenfelder Painting

Over the past few years CAI has grown in membership, educational advancement, and business opportunities. In 2009, CAI took a greater role in giving back to those in need. Based on suggestions from Mark Gittleman, CAI President, and Mary Felix of Gassen Companies, Schoenfelder Painting spearheaded an effort to start an annual tradition for members to give their time to a worthwhile charity.

Feed My Starving Children was chosen because it is a well run organization that not only distributes one of the necessities of life to those in need around the world but also because of the hands on experience it provides volunteers. To those unfamiliar with the process as a volunteer, it consists of 2 hour sessions that include measuring ingredients, packaging meals, which cost 17 cents each, and preparing the boxes to be shipped to one of many third world countries. The packaging session is accompanied by a short video that explains how and where the meals are shipped as well as how it impacts those receiving the life-saving meals.

We are proud of the overwhelming numbers that volunteered for this first year. In total we had over 100 volunteers from CAI for our five scheduled sessions. These volunteers packaged over 75,000 meals that were sent to Haiti, El Salvador, Indonesia, Uganda, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and the Philippines. Gassen Companies and RJF have since volunteered again to work at FMSC. Dennis Hanson of Laukka Management summarized it well when he said, "Working at FMSC is more fun than making beer.”

Schoenfelder Painting would like to thank all of our friends at CAI that joined us in this charitable event and hope you enjoyed sharing this experience with us as much as we enjoyed sharing it with you. A special thanks to participating companies: Laukka Management, Gittleman Management, Gassen Companies, New Concepts, Paradise, Community Development, Litehouse, All Ways Drain, Construct All, Rainbow Tree Care, BEI, Nesbitt Agencies, Serv Pro, CATS, BASF and many others. Next year at the trade show, we will again be seeking volunteers to serve. If you would like to be a team leader for next years event, contact Jared Summers at

To learn more about Feed My Starving Children, please visit

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