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Cool factor: 700 Persons of the Week are extension of local plant's corporate culture

(Photo credit: John Le, WLOS)

Our Person of the Week franchise is making history, because sometimes it takes more than just a single do-gooder to make a difference.

This week, News 13 recognized 700 people who work at the local Thermo Fisher Scientific plant!

Recently, we saw a special delivery that showed the magnitude of what they do. At The Community Kitchen in Canton, it was the cool factor a mountain non-profit's been waiting for.

"Yeah!" said Executive Director Kim Czaja, who was giddy and laughing with glee. "We're a food ministry, and we talk about God's timing is perfect."

For them, the donation of a high-performance freezer and a refrigerator is worth thousands. It's being hailed as a game changer.

"We haven't been able to have produce over here because I haven't had anywhere to put it!" Kim explained. "So, we can!"

It's a product of corporate culture. For the past decade, Thermo Fisher Scientific has donated equipment with cosmetic defects that aren't suitable for sale.

"Strictly cosmetic, won't affect the function of the unit at all," explained Aimee Levi, who's one of those Persons of the Week in the spotlight for community involvement.

Last year, the company gave 151 units to MANNA Food Bank, which distributes them to local pantries.

"They take incredible pride in this program," Levi said. "MANNA has passed on 'Thank You' notes from various food pantries, and I've passed them around to various team members, and they're just thrilled to see the excitement these units generate in the community."

It means a lot to small pantries like The Community Kitchen, which runs on a tight budget.

"We've got our golf tournament coming up, I've got four grants in March," Kim said of the fundraising flurry. "No, I need a vacation. I haven't even had time to color the gray hair, ha ha!"

Thermo Fisher Scientific also tackles hunger by bean counting each year. They split up into teams and split up more than 12,000 pounds of pinto beans into enough portions to feed 4,000 families.

On top of all that, the company's big ticket refrigeration items make a world of difference.

"Having the refrigerator and having produce and refrigerated items just gives them more choice," Czaja said.

"Before we had this great way to donate units to Manna Food Bank, we were actually scrapping these units," Levi told News 13.

The two units arrived just in time for a shipment of 16 cases of eggs.

"Because I was in panic mode," Kim said. "I don't know where I'm gonna store these!"

Sometimes divine intervention works in chilling ways.

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