july nominee

Gabriella Frank

A Book Can Save a Life

At Meatheads, we love hearing stories and honoring those serving their “cowmunity” but we really loved a story about a young girl on vacation that took a little part of “cowmunity” on vacation. A 2012 family trip to Jamaica at a Beaches resort sparked a movement in a Downers Grove girl’s life. Gabriella Frank, an incoming seventh grader at Herrick Middle School, was on vacation with her parents when she learned about the poverty that impacts children in the island, during a visit to an early childhood school. Gabriella couldn’t understand why some classrooms there had no books or why the students had to share pencils. Following her trip to the early childhood school, she created a program that she named Books by the Beach, through which she collects books and school supplies to donate to schools throughout Jamaica and Turks & Caicos.

To date, Gabriella has donated more than 1,250 books and countless school supply items thanks to the help of people in her school, family and “cowmunity.” She has even become involved with the Sandals Foundation to further help kids at Mount Airy (Junior and Primary), Happy Heart, Negirl All Age School and Green Island Primary.

A young student herself, Gabriella believes that education is so important. She loves going to school and wants all kids to enjoy the experience. It is Gabriella’s mission to help spread her love and reading and learning to those less fortunate.

Gabriella already has 500 items to ship to Jamaica this December to further her program. If you are interested in donating gently-used soft cover books or school supplies, please contact her mother Heather at [email protected] to coordinate. Thank you, Gabriella for making a “cowmunity” a better place wherever you go!

january spotlight

When Lincoln Park resident Dennis Shea retired from a lengthy career in sales and management with Hershey Foods, he knew he needed more than golf clubs to get him through retirement…read more

april spotlight

Remember someone that inspired you as a child? Meet Mr. David Fox, Oak Lawn resident and Boy Scout Troop Leader 788 volunteer. Mr. Fox joined the scouting family in 1958 when he first became…read more

july spotlight

Gabriella Frank, an incoming seventh grader, started a program called “Books by the Beach” to help collect books and school supplies and donate them to less fortunate…read more

february spotlight

Remember grade school recess? It can be tough for some kids and a breeding ground for bullying. Four 4th graders from Lincolnwood School District decided “Buddy Benches” were one way to help…read more

may spotlight

Amanda Martinsen is a 5th grade teacher who designed and implemented a school-wide project where students to learn about physical and emotional conditions of disabled children…read more

august spotlight

Mrs. Tamara Polakowski, a 1st grade teacher at Madison Elementary in Lombard, goes above the call of a teacher’s duty by education outside of a textbook…read more

march spotlight

Imagine hearing the words “Down syndrome” as a new parent. Where would you turn? Bill and Dawn Buckley of Dyer, Indiana turned to the Down Syndrome Association of Northwest Indiana…read more

june spotlight

Gayla Smith is a military mom of two members of the United States Navy. Each year her and her husband host a backyard BBQ to simply raise money for Building for America’s Bravest…read more

september spotlight

When Cathleen Aquino isn’t working as a NICU nurse, she volunteers with Children’s Oncology Services improving the life of children diagnosed with cancer…read more

rewarding great individuals

Each month, meatheads will select one person who exemplifies the company’s standards of determination, hustle & hard work. If you know someone who demonstrate the meatheads values, please let us know!

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