By Nature's Plus | Edited by Elena Doxey
In keeping with the dedication of Nature’s Plus® in promoting health and well-being, the company is humbled to give back to the community. Here, we recognize the outstanding efforts of the Nature’s Plus family.
Through a diverse palette of passions that include fundraising, cooking, sports and spearheading a program to feed the hungry, Nature’s Plus® is proud to shine the spotlight on the “heroes” of its organization.
Lida Loguercio – Corporate Services Assistant
Passion: Helping children live healthy and enriched lives.
As a mother, Lida is passionate about volunteering for the welfare of children. She devotes her spare time to various organizations, including one group created by parents to help raise money for children with life-threatening genetic disorders. Since most of the children being served live in the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, Lida taps into her Russian roots and posts on social media and translates for families who bring their children to the U.S. for treatment. She furthers her efforts to “Gift of Life,” an organization founded by her godparents that strives to help children with heart problems whose families can’t afford surgery.
“They bring the families here and work with doctors to get the surgeries they need,” Lida explains. “Sometimes I go and translate for them. I feel for the parents. If I had a situation, I would love for someone to help me if I was in need.”
Lida has also been instrumental in researching treatments for children with rare disorders. Closer to home, she helps raise money for her son’s Catholic school to fund field trips and other enrichment activities.
Deborah Woodward – Lead Telemarketing Sales Rep
Passion: Making sure children get a good meal and the school supplies needed to help them put their best foot forward.
With a passion for cooking, Deborah donates her culinary skills at an annual community event hosted by “Impact Church” in Murfreesboro, TN, where children receive backpacks and school supplies. The children enjoy a fun-filled day with games, pony rides and bounce houses. Deborah says most importantly, however, the children enjoy a meal.
“It seems like such a little thing, but it’s big to the parents and the kids,” Deborah said. “Who knows―it might be the only meal they get that day.”
Any leftover food is given to homeless people on the street, and Deborah said leftover backpacks are taken to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army for distribution to needy children. Last year, after six months of fundraising, the church gave out 1,600 backpacks filled with pencils, crayons, scissors, glue and crayons. Deborah says she gets more pleasure from giving then receiving. “I love the expression on people’s faces. You’re instantly blessed when that emotion comes through.”
Barry Gubell – Director of Distribution
Passion: Giving kids the chance to play sports and raising funds during the holiday season.
Barry is passing on his passion for basketball by having coached a local church team for the past 15 years. Instilling his love for the game to both of his daughters, he coached their team at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hicksville, NY for years.
Although his daughters have moved on with their lives, Barry continues to inspire the youth in his community with his knowledge and skills. “The kids are learning to work together,” Barry explained. “We’re providing them with a good, positive experience, teaching sportsmanship and fair play―conducting themselves the right way. All the things that go along with being a team.”
Last fall, Barry stepped up and volunteered to coach a second team to fill in a gap. He coached two teams that season, impressing the director of the church’s basketball program. Aside from coaching, Barry’s other responsibilities at the organization include helping his players sell Christmas trees―with the proceeds going toward supporting church activities. He participates in their annual basketball fundraiser where he helps other coaches cook breakfast for the congregation. “People look forward to it,” Barry says. “You feel like you’re helping a cause that’s greater than yourself.”
Christine Collins – Manager of Contract Packaging
Passion: Providing delicious sandwiches and food to children and adults in need.
For the past 16 years, Christine has spent Monday evenings working with the “Sandwich Society,” organized by St. John’s Church in Babylon, NY. She helped spearhead the service in 2001 by going to local businesses for donations of money and food.
Each week, volunteers make sandwiches that are distributed to women’s shelters, outreach centers and soup kitchens. Over the years, the number of volunteers has dwindled, but that doesn’t stop Christine. She began bringing her grandchildren with her to lend a helping hand.
“I pick them up after work,” Christine said. “I want them to know there are children out there who are hungry.” The volunteers make anywhere from 500 to 550 sandwiches every Monday―totaling about 30,000 per year.
Known as a woman of great gentleness of spirit with a compassionate heart, Christine says she feels it’s important to give back and finds it gratifying knowing she provided a meal for someone who might otherwise have had nothing to eat. “It makes your heart feel good.”