Ad agency reaches out to troops far away
Rhoads Creative, a West Goshen-based internet marketing and advertising firm, worked with Operation Gratitude to ship candy to those serving overseas
What started out as a team building project has blossomed into a community effort to help U.S. troops.
What started out as a team building project at a small marketing company has blossomed into a full-fledged community effort to help U.S. troops serving overseas.
Rhoads Creative, a digital marketing and advertising agency based at Route 202 and Matlack Street near West Chester, partnered with various businesses throughout the area to collect sweet treats left over from Halloween for its project to support Operation Gratitude.
Businesses – an area bank, an in-home care company, and more – went above and beyond when Rhoads approached them for donations.
The results are hundreds of pounds of candy and even handwritten thank you notes sent overseas to the troops – an expression gratitude just in time for Thanksgiving.
“We do a lot as a company and this year our team came to me and said they wanted to do something as a team,” said Paula Rhoads, president of the six-person agency that worked with the national organization that collects and sends candy to the troops. “Who doesn’t love the idea of someone away from home eating chocolate in Afghanistan?”
Since its inception in 1993, Operation Gratitude has sent care packages to veterans, first responders, new recruits, wounded heroes and U.S. service members deployed overseas. Each package is filled
with food, entertainment, hygiene, hand-made goodies and personal letters of support. To date, volunteers have shipped more than 1.6 million care packages to show their appreciation to those who serve the nation.
While a candy drive may seem like an unconventional service project, Rhoads Creative saw its value as multifaceted.
“As a company, our goal was to give back to all who serve our country while bringing the community together,” Paula Rhoads said. “We are proud to be a part of this unique opportunity and even prouder of our partners for going above and beyond ...”
Rhoads donated $300 to ship the candy once employees collected it.
First Resource Bank, with branches in West Chester and Exton, had the community behind them throughout the collection. Customers dropped off candy en masse, with their children even writing thank you notes, leaving both lobbies filled to the brim with donations.
Employees at Relative Care, a Downingtown based in-home care company, held the initiative close to their hearts. The founder, a U.S. Marine veteran, backed the collection and encouraged employees to donate candy from their company-wide trick-or-treat event. Delaware County’s Riddle Village, a Lifecare Retirement Community, promoted the collection in their employee newsletter, which had hundreds of employees vying to see who could donate the most candy. Philadelphia area builder, Prime Customer Builders, reached out to local businesses to donate and invited clients, employees and members of the community to stop by their office and drop -off candy, Rhoads said.
Rhoads said the project was done with the Professional Women in Building Bucks & Montgomery Regions, part of the Home Builders Association of Bucks/Montgomery Counties that represents women in the building industry.
“I get up every day and put in a hard day’s work in advertising,” said Roads, adding that she has a daughter who works as a nurse in the cardiology department at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “I think about her and I take that 10 steps further and think of parents with children overseas. It’s a small way for them to know it’s appreciated.”
Candy collected by Rhoads Creative in West Goshen is being sent to servicemen and women through Operation Gratitude.
Lindsey Williamson, media and research specialist at Rhoads Creative, organizes candy donated to servicemen and women serving overseas.