At J. Lohr, we’re firm believers in the power of community. During this #SeasonofGiving, we’ll be highlighting just a few of the organizations we are partnering with – groups that are doing amazing work locally in our own neighborhoods.
Read on to learn more about some of our favorite local heroes. And tell us about the organizations and outreaches that make a difference in the life of your community. Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
From all of us at J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, our very best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy holiday season.
J. Lohr is proud to be a CORE sponsor. Children Of Restaurant Employees grants support to food and beverage service employees’ families navigating life-altering circumstances.
CORE and J. Lohr
Rita DiLello, our V.P. National Accounts On-Premise, helped J. Lohr become a CORE partner in 2016. This year, J. Lohr is a proud Gold Sponsor of CORE.
As Rita tells us, “On a personal level I am involved with CORE because I see firsthand how hard restaurant employees work to serve their guests. Many couples met in the restaurant business since that is where they spend the majority of their time. When they begin to have a family, more often than not, both parents are working - sometimes part-time without benefits. If any life-altering event happens to these families, they have no network and backstop to navigate it financially or otherwise. Being the youngest of 13 kids in my own family, I know how difficult it can be. This organization provides assistance to those in need, “taking care of our own” – the folks who take care of us – restaurant employees.”
In addition to Rita, Johanna Dailey and Brytanni Lindheim, Directors for National Accounts, On-Premise Central and East respectively, also became CORE Ambassadors this year after joining the J. Lohr Sales team.
CORE grants support to children of food and beverage service navigating life-altering circumstances. In times of extreme strain brought on by family death, injury or diagnosed medical condition, loss of home, or other sudden or extreme circumstances, food and beverage employee’s families can become overwhelmed financially and emotionally. CORE is the nationally recognized community of support for all food and beverage service families in need by ensuring they feel cared for and valued.
The Family Giving Tree
In 1990, an MBA project by a student at San Jose State University evolved into The Family Giving Tree – a non-profit program that covers the greater San Francisco Bay area. One of their most visible outreaches is to fulfill holiday wishes; they supply gifts through local social service agencies that support families, children, and seniors.
J. Lohr and The Family Giving Tree
For eleven years now, Susan Kanzaki,
J. Lohr Lab Supervisor, has organized
J. Lohr’s participation with The Family Giving Tree. TFGT’s mission? As Susan says, “Last year, Giving Tree was able to grant 80,000 wishes here in the Bay Area. Besides contributing gifts, my coworkers and I also volunteer for a warehouse shift where we sort, wrap, and pack the gifts. To me, that’s part of what the holiday spirit is all about – giving and sharing with others.” “In 2006, my sister asked me if I was interested in volunteering at the Family Giving Tree with my husband and two daughters. The gifts they receive at their warehouse needed to be sorted and organized for each agency that will be distributing them. It was a very fulfilling day, knowing that we were helping; it was also overwhelming to see how many recipients were in need right here in the Bay Area. In 2007, I felt that we could do something here at J. Lohr. So with Cynthia Lohr’s blessing, I volunteered to be a Family Giving Tree drive leader and brought the program to J. Lohr’s San Jose office. We have participated every year since then. My co-workers and I help fulfill at least 25 wishes each holiday season; we also volunteer at TFGT’s warehouse for a two-hour shift every year. We have helped sort, organize, wrap, pack, and load gifts, and have become reliable and proficient “elves” in many of the tasks. We have fun, working together and building a sense of camaraderie.”
The Family Giving Tree's Mission
The Family Giving Tree envisions a world where every child is made to feel like a valuable and empowered part of their community through a shared belief in the power of giving. The Family Giving Tree fulfills specific holiday wishes; they also provide backpacks filled with school supplies to those children in the most need in our communities. Family Giving Tree looks to inspire values of kindness, philanthropy and volunteerism. Learn how you can help at FamilyGivingTree.org
Hope Services' community employment initiative assists adults with developmental challenges to achieve their vocational goals by matching them with local businesses. J. Lohr has partnered with Hope Services for thirteen years.
J. Lohr and Hope Services
In the fall of 2005, J. Lohr began working with Hope Services to help augment completion of our bottling crew’s special projects.
Originally, J. Lohr had a finite bottling season; in the off-season, our staff would move to our case goods warehouse to take care of special stickering projects, export orders, and other hand work. As our bottling season became year-round and our export sales expanded, we had problems keeping up with the multiple hand work projects; we needed outside help.
Our Vice President of Production at that time, David Mezynski, had heard about Hope Services from one of our J. Lohr employees. David met with managers at Hope Services and visited some of the wineries that Hope Services clients were doing work for. He was convinced that this would be a “win-win” opportunity for both organizations. Initially, we licensed Hope Services’ facility on Moorpark Avenue with the Alcohol Beverage Control so that they could receive and process special hand work orders for us. Although this situation was working well, transporting case goods to the Hope Services offices was not ideal and J. Lohr began investigating the possibility of having the Hope Services clients perform the work in our warehouse. We were worried about safety at the warehouse with forklift traffic and other hazards, but were able to create an area that was safe and somewhat isolated for the Hope Services clients to do their work. Initially, we brought the Hope Services team in for the holidays to assemble gift packs and sticker bottles and cases for export orders. Our warehouse manager quickly saw the Hope Services team’s value and asked if he could bring them back in January of 2006 for some other jobs; since then, they have never left as our project needs just kept growing. They have been a great asset and continue to impress our J. Lohr warehouse management team with their work ethic and positive attitude. They have been an integral part of our team; they are collegial, professional, and a real contributor to our success.
Hope Services' Mission
Hope Services’ overall mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities. Hope Services has been the leading provider of services to people with developmental disabilities in Silicon Valley for over 66 years. Hope Services serves more than 3,500 people and their families in six counties and provide a broad spectrum of support for infants through seniors such as children’s services, day programs, staffing, mental health services, community living services, and senior services. Hope Services’ vision is to promote a common understanding that the world is a better place when people with disabilities are fully integrated into our community and culture. To learn more, please visit the Hope Services website.