Contractors Spread Holiday Cheer

‘Tis the season as contractors across the nation give back to their staffs and communities.

Contractors Spread Holiday Cheer
Roger Goertz, owner of Mr. Rooter, Greater Houston, and his 34 employees celebrate the Saturday before Christmas by participating in the 3-mile Jingle Bell Walk /Run for the Arthritis Foundation.

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The team from Mr. Rooter, Greater Houston, participates annually in the Jingle Bell Walk/Run, a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation.

The holiday season is more than a time of sharing for cleaning contractors in Texas and California, as it is for many across the nation, it’s also a time for recognizing employees and saying “thank you” to customers for their yearlong support.

Roger Goertz, owner of Mr. Rooter, Greater Houston, and his 34 employees celebrate the Saturday before Christmas by participating in the 3-mile Jingle Bell Walk /Run for the Arthritis Foundation.

Employees, spouses, children and even pets participate. Goertz pays all registration fees and provides T-shirts. Afterward they enjoy a late breakfast at a local restaurant.

At night, employees and guests are treated to a dinner at a local venue. This year’s theme is Western. Plans are for a mechanical bull, DJ, dancing and karaoke.

Goertz also hands out Christmas bonuses to employees, who participate in a gift exchange and “Behind-the-Door” drawing. Employees receive one ticket for each year with the company. This year’s grand prize is a 50-inch, flat-screen TV.

Other prizes include cordless tools, movie passes, spa treatment and three sealed envelopes – each with $100 to $500 inside.

Goertz and his wife, Natalie, select the gifts.

“Our employees work very hard throughout the year, and this is a good time to give them something to remember,” he says. “We do similar things on other occasions, but Christmas is special.”

In Corona, California, Jim Aanderud, owner of Interline Engineering, follows a similar party theme for his 16 employees and their families.

Bonuses are handed out and employees are recognized for their years of service. Last year, Aanderud took employees and their families to Disneyland for a meal and day of fun.

In San Diego, Lane Post, owner of Arrow Pipeline Repair, says “thank you” with gift baskets to the companies that support him and his 16 employees.

“Fifteen years ago we began purchasing gift baskets to present to our vendors, the banks we deal with, the people we buy pipe from – the various companies who help keep us in business,” he says.

Post hands out about 100 baskets each year.

“Our baskets have become so popular, people remind us early in the season to please not forget them when the Christmas season is upon us,” he says.

Jonathan Gott, owner/president of Gott Plumbing Repair in Glasgow, Kentucky, believes in the spirit of giving. A Vietnam veteran, he, his wife Rauni, and their employees have spent the month of December sharing with the community that has supported them the past 10 years.

Beginning in November and through Jan. 1, Gott is donating $5 from every service call to the Folds of Honor, a nonprofit foundation that provides scholarships for the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to our country.

“Our goal is to give away 200-plus agreements,” Gott says. “We may keep giving away more during the upcoming months.”

The Gotts also teamed up with the nonprofit Freedom Warriors Veterans Organization to collect cash, food and toys to help veterans in and around the community.

Earlier this month they collected $1,313 in cash and about $1,000 in toy donations during a one-day drive.

But the giving doesn’t stop there, the Gotts also have partnered with the Great Onyx Job Corps to teach the plumbing trade to its members and provide them with a real-world experience and job placement.

“This is just another way for us to give back for what has been given to us,” Rauni says.

The Gotts say their spirit of giving began in March when they met Maj. Dan Rooney, founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation.

“We wanted to do something that would truly benefit those in our small rural area,” Gott says of Glasgow, population 14,000 and located about 95 miles south of Louisville.

“Being that I am a former veteran, this was something that was dear to our hearts. After this we started to look more into our local community organizations and found a great group called the Freedom Warriors,” he says.

“This is a very small group of veterans that not only helps our veterans but the entire community by fixing up homes for needy families, buying clothes, conducting food and toy drives, and so many other things. Over the last several weeks of joining these fine people, our company, along with the Freedom Warriors, has collected over $600 in cash and a van full of food items.”

Gott Plumbing Repair matched up to $475 in food donations, which was given to Next Step, a local food bank. Gott also took part in the local Christmas parade, sponsoring the Freedom Warriors, and went to local nursing homes, handing out gifts to former veterans and participating in a flag-folding ceremony.


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