Carrying on their tradition of spreading kindness during the holidays, SUEZ and The Shauger Group once again teamed up to make the Thanksgiving holiday a special one for local families.

Together, SUEZ and The Shauger Group​ donated 600 Thanksgiving meals to the municipalities of East Orange, Orange, Bloomfield, and Irvington, as well as to Saint Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church in Kearny, Cookie’s Turkey Drive in Bayonne, and the Salvation Army in Kearny, for families in need. On Monday, November 25, 2019, SUEZ and The Shauger Group​ dropped the meals off to representatives from each municipality and organization, so that the meals could be distributed to families who need them.

“We’re always proud to pay it forward, and to do what we can to bring happiness to people in need who truly need it,” said Donald Shauger, Executive Vice President of The Shauger Group​. “It’s especially meaningful at this time of year, when families may be struggling and wondering if they are going to be able to put a Thanksgiving meal on the table. If we can step in and make things better for hundreds of families, why wouldn’t we? A small gesture of kindness goes a long way.”

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Along with purchasing 600 turkeys to donate, SUEZ and The Shauger Group​ packed 600 bags filled with nonperishable items they had purchased, including canned vegetables, jarred and boxed gravy, boxed mashed potatoes, boxed stuffing, corn muffin mix, canned cranberry sauce, and boxed and canned soups. The companies held a “packing day” at each of their respective locations, where they gathered together all of the trimmings for the Thanksgiving giveaway bags—giving company employees the opportunity to share in the spirit of excitement of the holiday donation. The Shauger Group​’s employees also generously donated money to help pay for the trimmings.

“This holiday season, The Shauger Group made our Thanksgiving turkey donation in memory of Michael Augustine Sr., an employee of ours who recently passed away,” said Donald Shauger. “One of the last things Mike did before he passed away was donate money toward these Thanksgiving food bags we’re giving away. At Mike’s funeral, Mike’s son Michael Jr. told a story about how Mike would take his four sons to get food when they were growing up, and Mike would buy extra meals for them to give to people who were homeless. In honor of Mike’s kind and giving spirit, Michael Jr. asked us all to do something to pay it forward in memory of his father. It was an honor for us to make our Thanksgiving donation in Mike’s name—someone who was more than just a coworker to us for many years, but who was also a friend and brother to us, too.”

“As always, we were honored to partner with SUEZ on another meaningful project,” said Lisa Shauger, President/CEO of The Shauger Group​. “SUEZ has a community-first philosophy, just like we do: they constantly look for ways they can make a difference in the community. We’re proud and privileged to call them our partners in philanthropy. It’s an honor to work with such a service-minded company—one that seeks out every opportunity to volunteer its time, money, and resources to help people in need. We value our relationship with SUEZ both professionally and personally.”

SUEZ and The Shauger Group​’s Thanksgiving turkey donation comes not long after the two companies spearheaded another project together earlier in the fall. In September, SUEZ and The Shauger Group​ teamed up to donate 750 backpacks to students for back-to-school. The backpacks were given to three local municipalities and a nonprofit organization: the City of Orange, the City of Jersey City, the Town of Kearny, and WomenRising. At the same time, SUEZ and The Shauger Group​ also donated $2,500 via a corporate sponsorship to The Navigator Project, which provides resources and help to children, seniors, and veterans in communities that are low-income or underserved throughout New Jersey.

Last year, SUEZ and The Shauger Group​ also donated 400 turkeys to the local community at Thanksgiving, and the year before, SUEZ was one of several companies and volunteers that joined a volunteer effort spearheaded by The Shauger Group to renovate Newark’s Apostles’ House homeless shelter.

“Our partnership with The Shauger Group continues to grow stronger, and we look forward to each initiative that comes our way,” says Ghilianie Soto, Communications Manager for SUEZ. “We make an even greater impact when we collaborate with The Shauger Group, and we are proud to serve these communities and hope that our efforts are able to provide some relief to families in need during the holidays.”

“It is truly a great feeling to pay it forward,” added Donald Shauger. “I will never forget all that was done for my family when I was growing up in West Orange. My mother was a single parent, raising my four siblings and me on her own. She sacrificed day in and day out, working six to seven days per week just to make ends meet. So many people rallied behind my family, making us meals and helping us get through some of the most challenging times in our lives. I will never forget how it felt to be on the receiving end of all of that kindness, and I won’t hesitate to do the same for someone else.”

“We hope that this Thanksgiving was the very best one yet for the families who received our special Thanksgiving meals,” added Donald Shauger. “We can promise they were bought and packed with a lot of love—and we hope they were enjoyed in great company, too. We’re grateful to have had another opportunity to make a difference with SUEZ.”