It's going to be warmer winter for more than 400 students at Westwood Middle School.

Thanks to a company-wide effort by the local office of C.H. Robinson, 443 students recently received free customized coats. Given to every student and staff member, the coats were branded with the school logo and will be part of the school uniform.

Principal Dennis Branson talks to the students

Westwood Middle is a mile away from the Grand Rapids office of C.H. Robinson. The company is one of the world's largest third-party logistics providers, including freight transportation, produce sourcing and information services. It encourages staff at its locations to give back to their community in a "Robinson Cares" program

MacKenzie Ferguson, 8th grade, is so excited at the assembly!

"Our employees wanted to make sure that every one of those kids has a jacket to keep them warm and comfortable through the winter," said Angie Freeman, C.H. Robinson chief human resources officer. "This kind of generosity is who we are - making a difference in the communities in which we live, work and play is at the heart of the culture at C.H. Robinson."

She said the company is proud of employees "for reaching out to their neighborhood school, learning what needs they have and raising funds to provide the coats."

The staff goal was to raise enough money for the entire school, which happened thanks to a corporate match. The donation totaled $9,000.


By Steve Vedder, Photos by Dianne Carroll Burdick, Courtesy of School News Network