By Tri-State Defender Newsroom
September 2, 2010

After a recent plea from Ronald McDonald House of Memphis, APL Logistics and AT&T joined forces and encouraged employees to help refill the otherwise depleted pantries at “The House That Love Built”.

The collaborative effort began as the two companies challenged each other to a competition, leading not only to an exponential increase of the donation amount, but also a newfound camaraderie between the two companies whose offices are located in the same business complex.

Ronald McDonald House of Memphis houses up to 51 families daily and the two pantries provide much needed non-perishable food items to families returning to their “home-away-from-home” after a long day of treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The support from employees of APL Logistics and AT&T exceeded all expectations.

During the official presentation, Kelly Erb, development director for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis, accepted a donation of over $7,000 of food items from Tammy Wood, director of finance for APL Logistics, and Chuck Thomas III., regional director for AT&T. State Sen. Mark S. Norris Sr., the Senate Majority Leader, attended the presentation.

“Thanks to the inspiration and leadership of Sen. Mark Norris, the AT&T team in Memphis answered the call and was able to collect over $7,000 of food, snacks and drinks for the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis,” said Thomas.

“With these goods, we are able to help positively touch the lives of over 50 families in the Memphis area.”

Caron Byrd, executive director for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis, called the support from APL Logistics and AT&T a tremendous gift to the families.

“When we sounded the call for donations, APL Logistics and AT&T responded in a big way. We are also very thankful to State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris for lending his support to the pantry drive and for his support of Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.”

Kelly Erb, development director for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis, emphazied how much Ronald McDonald House relies on donations from individuals, organizations and businesses. “We are thrilled to have the support of organizations like APL Logistics and AT&T and we are looking forward to a long relationship and more ways of collaborating in the future” said Erb.

Norris said AT&T and APL showed that “a little healthy competition, and an interest in giving back to the community can help many.”

All families stay at Ronald McDonald House completely free of charge. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.rmhmemphis.org.

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