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WEI StepsUP: Strong Turnout For Annual Family Barbecue And Care Package Event

  Greg LaBrie     Jul 02, 2019

packingWEI recognizes that community service is a vital part of being a successful business and encourages employees to participate in volunteerism. On June 12, WEI hosted its annual “Thank Our Military” barbecue in partnership with the Pease Greeters. WEI employees and their families were welcomed for an afternoon of fun community service featuring delicious BBQ food, creating handmade greeting cards, and assembling care packages for servicemen and servicewomen.

The care packages are both mailed overseas, and distributed in person at the Portsmouth International Airport at Pease (formerly known as Pease International Airport) to members of the military as they depart on a deployment. When they return, the Pease Greeters are there to make sure everyone has someone to greet them at the gate.

boxesAt WEI’s “Thank Our Military” barbecue, employees and their families worked together in an act of community service to pack over 80 of these care packages. Fifty of them were snack boxes with non-perishables like trail mix, dried fruit, beef jerky, gum, and other treats. All snack items selected were ones that are easy to transport and tuck in a pocket - but won’t cause problems if lost or forgotten. The other packages consisted of personal care items like lip balm, deodorant, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and sun screen. Children attending with their families also created beautiful handmade cards with messages of care and support.

After the care packages were completed volunteers were treated to a barbecue catered by local business The Chicken Connection, as well as a super hero photo booth put together by WEI, and face painting for all.

WEI’s Dedication To Community Service

packing  carWEI encourages community service and supports many charities. In previous years along with this summer, WEI has given back to the community in a variety of ways. In April 2019 WEI participated in End 68 Hours of Hunger where we had donated 9 pallets of food, consisting of 30,000 food items. These donations were delivered directly to the Salem High School drop-off by our very own WEI team, and the food supply had lasted the children from April vacation and is estimated to carry through the summer of 2019.

The Lazarus House Soup Kitchen is another successful community service partnership. WEI donated canned goods earlier this year, and also held a clothing drive for women, men, and children. Since this organization also helps adults prepare for jobs, we received a lot of business clothing to donate as well. Our most recent volunteer work was with Merrimack Valley's Habitat for Humanity. Here, our team was able to build houses for those in need of one in the Lowell and Andover locations. WEI is committed to giving back to the community, and always seeking for ways to help and support others.  

Proud To Partner With The Pease Greeters In Community Service

peaseThe Pease Greeter mission began in May 2005 when an unannounced airplane with 135 Army troops on board landed at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease for refueling. The servicemen and women onboard were deploying to Iraq.

Airport Manager Bill Hopper and Maintenance Manager Alan Weston did not want the troops to spend their last moments before deployment alone so, armed with coffee and donuts, he brought all available airport employees to the terminal to greet them.

Today the Pease Greeters are made up of both military veterans and civilians dedicated to:

  • Welcoming troops and bidding them a safe voyage during their travels with the Armed Forces
  • Creating an environment within the Pease Trade Port that reflects the respect and high esteem in which Americans hold all of our nation’s veterans
  • Encouraging the general public and promoting broad participation in the welcoming of heroes
  • Educating school children about America’s Armed Forces by instilling respect and admiration for the troops through formal ceremonies and localized events

Donations Of Time And Items Are Still Needed

If you would like to sign up to be a Pease Greeter and meet our soldiers at the airport upon their return, you can find a registration link on the website or by clicking here.

Donations of items and time spent packing them up are also vital to the mission and can be dropped off at the New Hampshire addresses at this link. Here are some of the most requested items:

Toiletries (Travel Size)

Lip balm

Wet wipes




Hand warmers



Eye drops

Air fresheners

White socks (mid-calf)

Sanitary items


Shave gel


Hand sanitizer

Bug wipes

Flip flops

Foot powder

Sun screen


Food Items (Individual Servings)


Mixed nuts

Trail mix

Toaster pastries

Microwave popcorn

Peanut butter

Dried fruit

Granola bars

Drink mix (powder or drops)

Beef jerky





Fun Activities

Deck of cards

Nerf balls

Small card games


Rubik’s cubes

Travel-size board games

Soccer balls


Hacky sacks


Learn About Other WEI Community Service Projects

This project is a reflection of the values held by WEI and its employees. You can read more about our community service projects over the years by following this link or dive deeper into our mission at the WEI StepsUp page on our website.

Tags  WEIStepsUP giving back community Life at WEI

Greg LaBrie

Written by Greg LaBrie

Greg LaBrie has more than 20 years of network architecture and engineering experience designing networks that exceed technical requirements, improve operational proficiency and reduce total costs of ownership. Greg holds a number of technical certifications for HPE, Cisco, Fortinet, and much more.

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