Wisconsin Army National Guard joins special Thursday Share Your Holidays event

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 10:38 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard were enlisted Thursday afternoon for a special NBC15 Share Your Holidays food donation drive.

The event runs from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., at ABS Global, Inc, at 1525 River Road, in DeForest. Employees at ABS Global helped get the event off to a huge start with multiple challenges within the company that raised over 750 lbs. of food.

To make sure there was enough room for all of the donations, soldiers parked a large transport vehicle in front of the company building and, they are ready to start loading it up with canned goods and other non-perishable items, to be donated to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.

NBC15 News team members (from left): Phoebe Murray, "Be Like Mike" award winner John Stofflet,...
NBC15 News team members (from left): Phoebe Murray, "Be Like Mike" award winner John Stofflet, Gabriella Rusk, Amanda Morgan, and Erin Sullivan join in the drive-thru drive at ABS Global, Inc., on Oct. 27, 2022.(WMTV-TV/Erin Sullivan)

The Guard’s Lt. Corporal Shannon Hellenbrand was out early Thursday to help set up and she explained participating in events like this are part of why many of its soldiers signed up.

“Our service members will tell you, generally speaking, one of the top two reasons why they end up joining the National Guard specifically, is to serve their own state, and their communities,” she said.

Guard members have a history of helping in the fight against hunger. In 2020, they were there for the 25th Anniversary Share Your Holidays, hosting a drive-thru food drive at the Alliant Energy Center and bringing back memories of the early days of working together. The soldiers who were there in 2020 were inspired by their experience and were eager to do it again.

Ltc. Shannon Hellenbrand at the NBC15 Share Your Holidays Donation Drop-off Event

Hellenbrand talked about how eager she was to start seeing all those friendly faces again, after the pandemic had forced them to pull back from many community events to focus their efforts on the battle against COVID-19. She pointed out they were still out there serving but in a different way they were used to.

“What we are really viewing this as is our ability to launch back into our communities and be visible in a way that is not controversial,” she added.

It was a familiar face for NBC15 News viewers who spearheaded the company’s participation in the event. Former anchor Amy Pflugshaupt-Hanson, who now works for ABS Global, helped bring the drive to DeForest.

NBC15's Tim Elliott talks with Amy Pflugshaupt Hanson about the NBC15 Share Your Holidays Donation Drop-off Event

She described how the food drive aligns with the company’s vision, saying, “(w)e are really passionate about trying to feed the world, we partner with farmers all over the world in 70 different countries.”

She even pointed out how easy it is to make a donation. “You don’t even have to get out of your car.”

The National Guard will be dropping off donations at 10 a.m. Friday at Second Harvest.

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