In a back room at the Key on Central, Cierra Walding organized a bunch of financial advisers around a big table of nonperishable food.
"We're trying to create a meal here," she said.
Each of the nine volunteers took a large gift bag and collected a meat product, potatoes, a vegetable, fruit, cereal and some pasta for a needy family to eat over the holiday.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Jeff Brandt fills bags with donated food items Friday afternoon at the Key on Central as part of the Ameriprise National Day of Service.
For the third annual National Ameriprise Day of Service, the Ameriprise offices in Fort Dodge and Webster City collected donations for the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center.
"Every year our company has the National Day of Service. They try to get advisers around the country to get involved and do some kind of service for a hunger relief organization in our community," said Walding, a financial adviser with Ameriprise and a member of the D/SAOC board.
"We've chosen D/SAOC, so for all this week and last week we have been doing a food, clothing, toy and cell phone drive for the holidays. We've been collecting things at our offices to give to them."
They had plenty of donations.
"We got a ton," Walding said of the food. "I know we got in at least four big tubs full, and I would say an additional ten boxes."
This is the first year the local Ameriprise offices have done a day of service, and Walding said it was going well.
"I'm really happy with the turnout, and I'm excited to keep doing it every year, I think it will just keep getting better," she said.
The volunteers came to the Key on Central, D/SAOC's downtown secondhand store, to package the food bundles.
D/SAOC Executive Director Connie Harris said the food would help their outreach clients, while the toys and clothes would go to the shelter.
"These are for our clients, clients of domestic violence and sexual assault who are essentially homeless when they come to our shelter," she said.
The help was greatly needed.
"I want to encourage people to become active volunteers, outside of special days," said Harris. "People can work in the shelter. They can work with domestic violence victims, they can come to the shelter, they can work at the Key, they can volunteer their time in so many different ways."
Bruce Kentfield, Ameriprise financial adviser, was busy packing his food sacks.
"We felt this is a very - not only is Cierra on the board, but we felt it was a very worthwhile organization to help out, especially on a day like today," Kentfield said.
A few of the volunteers wearing the blue Ameriprise Day of Service T-shirts were not Ameriprise workers.
"I'm with Spherion Staffing," said Lynda Wunder. "We're part of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance. I heard about it that way, and I just really like to get involved around the holidays, and help out those folks that just need a little help."
About 40 sacks of food were filled, each one with enough to feed a family of four, and Ameriprise donated $320 to the center.