PITTSBURG — A friendly workplace competition ended with a trailer load of goods for Wesley House. 

A local business, AZZ, wanted to kick off the giving season with a fundraiser for the ministry, which in Nov. 2019 provided services for 506 households for a total of 1,261 people in Crawford County.

With a competitive spirit each team purchased oatmeal and pancake syrup from the store. Some left with a pallet — or two. Because of their donations Wesley House will now be able to put pancakes and oatmeal back on the emergency pantry menu. 

The competition “went a little ridiculous,” AZZ Administrative Assistant Helen Johns said. Aside from the gift of giving, she added, the winning team was to receive a pizza party. 

One employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, purchased up to 60 percent of the donations. He brought in two pallets worth of items. He cleared Sam’s Club out twice, Johns said. 

“It was super generous,” she said. 

Ten days later, AZZ employees have collected enough oatmeal and pancake syrup which will last the ministry’s pantry several months, Wesley House Executive Director and Pastor Marcee Binder said, adding that they are appreciative of the donations. 

“It was of course super cool [to see all of the donations],” Johns said. “It warms your heart, it’s only a couple bucks for us but it’s a meal for somebody else.” 

Accounting Clerk Holly Kirkpatrick agreed. 

“We love community participation and trying to help out those who are less fortunate during the holiday season,” she said. “We called Wesley House and asked what they most needed and it was pancake syrup and oatmeal and we had a competition that went far bigger than imagined.”