ARDMORE, Okla. – Two Dot Foods employees, Amanda Smith of Dixon and Lori Miller of Ardmore, recently completed more than 20 individual hours with local non-profits through Dot’s annual volunteer program, Teaming with Local Charities (TLC). In their honor, the Ardmore distribution center will donate $400 each to a charity of their choice.

The program, which launched in early 2011, connects Dot employees with volunteer opportunities and events with charities and non-profits in the area. When an employee reaches 20 volunteer hours, he or she can elect to take eight hours off with pay or ask Dot to donate a $400 grant to a charitable organization in his or her honor. Employees can work to a total of 60 hours throughout the year, with each 20 hour total permitting a paid day off or $400 grant.

“The goal of the TLC program is to give our employees an incentive to go out in the community and see where work and volunteers are needed most,” said Brandi Jones, assistant human resources manager. “Both Amanda and Lori volunteered a number of hours and were gracious and self-less enough to decide to go even further and choose a donation. We hope that other employees from our DC will follow their example and complete the TLC program.”

Smith, a warehouse specialist, clocked more than 25 hours volunteering at the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank, assisting with packing and sorting donated frozen and dry food, and the Ardmore Adult Day Services, playing games and helping coordinate a cookout for elderly and handicapped individuals. She chose to have $400 donated to the American Cancer Society in honor of her father, who passed away from cancer.

“It is really awesome that Dot gives their employees the opportunity to volunteer for local charities, especially in allowing us to choose where to make a donation,” said Smith. Another reason she liked the program was that it gave her the chance to have her three children, Bayleigh, Jordyn and Kayden, volunteer with her. “The best thing that came from this program was giving me the opportunity to show my kids that giving back is important and allowing them to see the impact just a few hours of our time can have for others.”

Miller, who also works in the warehouse, has so far spent 70 hours volunteering through the TLC program. She spent the majority of her time during a two week period passing out flyers and collecting non-perishable items for the Tuscaloosa tornado relief. During that time, Miller and others were able to collect enough items to fill a 53-foot trailer with 26 pallets of goods. In addition, she spent time painting rooms and helping repair a local children’s shelter. “I loved working with others and seeing so many people in our community come together and make a special effort to help others, especially when it was going to people whom some of us would never meet,” noted Miller. Miller has not chosen a charity for her $400 donation.