Employees at the Gerdau steel mill in Midlothian have collected nearly 18,000 pounds of non-perishable food items for donation to several food banks located in Midlothian and surrounding communities.

They exceeded their goal of 3,600 pounds of food by 490 percent.  

“Our goal this year was to spread the wealth – so to speak – so we could impact as many people as possible from the communities where we live,” said Kobey Juergens, a Gerdau employee who helped manage the food drive. “Through our efforts, we hope to give them a chance for a better and happier holiday season.”

Other mill activities include a donation of approximately 300 toys and $2,500 to Manna House, a local nonprofit organization. An additional toy donation was delivered to Outreach Ministries in Waxahachie on Dec. 20.

One of the reasons for the Midlothian mill’s great results this year was a contest between mill employees.

The group that raises the greatest amount per person will receive $1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.

“It never ceases to amaze me what a great group of people we have working here in Midlothian,” Juergens wrote in an email to his colleagues. “From benefit luncheons for employees, to United Way Donations, to our can food drive every year, the group we have working here in Midlothian is truly like a big family.”

The Gerdau Holiday Campaign is a social responsibility initiative that is geared to brighten the holidays for the communities surrounding Gerdau locations in 14 countries. Nationally, eight of the company’s locations are participating in the Holiday Campaign with new locations being added to the program annually.