RED OAK

Employees at Triumph Aerospace Structures in Red Oak recently donated portions of their paychecks in a United Way employee-giving campaign to benefit United Way of West Ellis County.

“This Triumph facility in Red Oak are the pacesetters for the Triumph organization,” emphasized Casey Ballard, Executive Director of United Way of West Ellis County. “They raise more money at this facility than the other 43 facilities around the country, so we are excited and proud to have them in our community.”

A swarm of Triumph employees gathered in the break room to present a check of $47,000 to UWWEC on Wednesday.

Braden Lathram, Triumph Chief of Staff to the Site President, explained the Red Oak site has participated in the payroll deduction campaign for the past three years. Each year, more employees participate, and Lathram finds more ways to get the team involved in the nonprofit community.

The first year, employees raised about $23,000 and $33,000 the second year. Lathram was hopeful to raise 50,000 and is optimistic his team will reach that goal next year.

The employee campaign allows individuals to designate an amount from their paycheck each month. A total of 105 employees participated with 1,300 employees are on site. The company also hosted special lunches and activities to raise additional funds.

Lathram shared that Ballard was transparent with him a couple of years ago and opened the books to show where exactly donations were going to Ellis County, salaries and corporate. The numbers proved a significant amount was funneled back to local nonprofits.

Triumph employees volunteered and toured nonprofits to better understand how their donations are benefiting others. That experience encouraged employees to give.

“I actually found out that there were a couple of people from this site that work here that have actually reached out to United Way for help," Lathram explained. "You never know when something tragic may happen. You’re always giving in case something happens, they will be there for you.”

The act of giving back is essential to the company.

“We are the largest footprint in Ellis County, so basically a single structure of 1,300 employees on site that is huge. We have an obligation as a corporation, as the people who live in this county and those who drive to this county to work," Lathram said. “We have a huge obligation to help take care of the community that is helping us.”

About 30 different companies contribute to the United Way of West Ellis County through the payroll deduction campaign. United Way of West Ellis County impacts about 30 Ellis County-based agencies in the area.

For more information on giving, visit UWWEC at www.liveunited.us.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-150