For three years, Wheeler Machinery Co. partnered with CHOICE Humanitarian as its flagship charity. This partnership’s goal was to eradicate extreme poverty by bulldozing the barriers that prevent rural villagers from attaining economic development and self-reliance. Over the course of Wheeler’s partnership with CHOICE, which began in the summer of 2012, Wheeler raised $675, 568 and sent 20+ employees on two fully-funded humanitarian expeditions to Mexico and Bolivia. Employees received personal paid time off during their expedition abroad, and all expedition-related expenses were paid by Wheeler (food, lodging, airfare, expedition fee). The partnership was termed “Bulldoze Barriers: Make the CHOICE to end Poverty”. Funds were raised via employee payroll contributions with a generous 2-to-1 company match, fundraising events such as the annual motorcycle ride and charity auctions. Additionally, Wheeler funds have been matched by The Caterpillar Foundation which will match Cat dealer donations up to $100,000 annually for environmental and sustainability conservation projects. For the last two years, Wheeler’s donations have qualified for the $100,000 Caterpillar Foundation annual match for CHOICE’s Wheeler funded work to plant seeds and transplant 100,000 trees in the Polochic region of Guatemala, as well as providing training for improved forestry and agricultural practices, and build 500 eco-stoves.
“I applaud Wheeler Machinery for their commitment to end poverty – in our backyard and abroad. Wheeler Machinery employees are part of the corporate movement to create lasting impact for those living on less than $2 a day. I’m humbled and inspired to partner with such a forward-thinking company,” says Leah Barker, CEO of CHOICE Humanitarian.