Community: Ivy League Kids Program

September 19, 2019
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At our Ozinga headquarters in Mokena, IL, we try to plan an activity each quarter to bring our coworkers closer, and we encourage our outer offices to do the same. With football season in the air this quarter, it was only fitting to host a sports-themed luncheon. And thanks to the generous spirit of some coworkers in IT and their commitment to live our purpose, this event turned into a giving opportunity as well.

“We wanted to take it one step further and help out someone in the community,” said Jeff Duran, Business Process Analyst. “That’s where the Gridiron Grub & Give idea was born.”


To complement the sports theme, Ozinga coworkers looked for an organization that could use sports items and found Ivy League Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides before and after school services for children while also focusing on fitness recreation.


Erin Raatjes, IT Help Desk Supervisor, came up with the idea of having a luncheon with the entire office, while Jeff suggested IT pay for the main dish, a pig roast, using money they saved during our recent office renovation. “It was through copper sales from our recent office remodel that we were able to fund the pig roast,” said Jeff. “Tom Allen, Director of Infrastructure Support, had been saving it for something special, and this fit the bill.” Coworkers then donned their favorite sports apparel, donated sports items and joined in on the feasting.


Altogether, a total of 88 items were brought in. The items will then be dispersed among various Ivy League Kids program sites—especially to the most at risk youth. “We’re so thankful for Ozinga’s generous donation of sports equipment that will impact over 1,800 students,” said Ivy League Kids CEO Joe Evans. “Your contribution will enhance our after school sports and recreation program and support healthy, active lifestyles for our youth.”


Giving back to the community we serve is one way we live our purpose and demonstrates how we equip coworkers with the tools to make events like the Gridiron Grub & Give possible.

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