Winston Churchill noted that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. It’s this spirit that has inspired the employees of Prestage Farms in North Carolina to raise more than $50,000 for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life this year.

“Around here, Relay for Life is a big event,” says Dennis Carter, human resources director for Prestage Farms. “Cancer affects such a wide range of people, including some of our employees and their loved ones. That’s why we want to help support this great cause.”

During this summer’s Relay For Life event at the high school track in Clinton, N.C., the Prestage Farms Relay team carried on a tradition that reflected the family-owned company’s commitment to live the pork industry’s We Care principles and contribute to a better quality of life in the local community.

“Saying ‘We Care’ is important, but showing that ‘We Care’ is even more important,” says Deborah Johnson, chief executive officer of the North Carolina Pork Council. “Through this Relay for Life fundraising effort and many others over the years, the Prestage Farms’ team has demonstrated a strong community spirit. This is just one example of how they go the extra mile to provide support and resources for important community issues and programs.”

Prestage’s Relay team began like many others, holding raffles before the event and selling sandwiches and drinks the night of the Relay, all to raise money toward the goal. In the case of Prestage, whatever amount the team raised was matched by the company, and that became the donation for the year.

“In years past we raised $12,000 to $18,000, but a few years ago we switched strategies, believing we could raise more money throughout the year — a little bit at the time,” Carter says.

In 2009, Prestage Farms started a payroll deduction plan. This voluntary program offers every employee the opportunity to make a contribution by having a donation taken each week from his or her paycheck. “It can be as little as a dollar per week, but those dollars add up quickly,” says Carter, who notes that employees also raise money for the United Way.

In a year’s time, Prestage Farms’ employees are on track to raise $58,000 for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life, all of it coming from payroll contributions made by more than 600 Prestage employees who believe in the cause.

Denise Scronce, co-chairwoman of Sampson’s Relay for Life, praised Prestage employees for their generosity. “To see what their commitment can do in a year’s time, well it’s remarkable,” Scronce told the Samson Independent newspaper. “It just leaves you speechless.”

Source: National Pork Board