Willoway Nurseries and our employees believe in the importance of community involvement and being a good citizen. It is part of our core values to help those in need and try to always do the right thing. We support the local economy with tax dollars, employment opportunities as well as utilizing local businesses for many of the services we require. We also support our community by donating time and money to various charity relief programs.
Some organizations include:
Willoway Nurseries works with trade associations and donates plants from trade shows to help support local Habitat projects.
Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Habitat works toward a vision by building strength, stability, and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.
Willoway Nurseries has been fundraising for the Lupus Foundation over the past 4 years. Lupus is a chronic (long-term) disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of the body. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system – the body system that usually fights infections – attacks healthy tissue instead. Lupus most commonly affects the skin, joints, and internal organs like the kidneys and heart.
Each fall the Willoway team, “Flare Fighters”, walks to support the fight against Lupus and to promote awareness of the disease, raising and donating more than $8000 to the Lupus Foundation. The team also sells t-shirts prior to the fall “Walk to end Lupus NOW” walk as part of the fundraiser.
Flare Fighters has grown over the years and in 2021 had more than 20 employees, family and friends brave the cold and rainy weather to participate in a virtual walk in a local park. For its spring fundraiser, our Flare Fighters sell raffle tickets for the opportunity to win various “themed” baskets that are donated by Willoway employees, family, and friends – with proceeds going to the Lupus Foundation.
Eagle Scout Landscape Installation Project completed in November 2021
Since 2017, Willoway Nurseries, Inc. has been showing our support for veterans at the Ohio Veterans Home located in Sandusky. The projects we have sponsored and donations we have contributed align with our company vision of serving our community. Giving back to and showing respect and support for our Veterans is something that is very close to our hearts.
Some of the ways Willoway has assisted the home are shade tree donation, sponsored steak dinner, live Christmas tree donation – which was planted on the grounds, poinsettia donation, donation of plant material for Eagle Scout landscape installation project at the home and helping with plant material purchases for planned areas on the grounds – replacing to redesigning areas as needed. Everything we have accomplished at the home has been done not only with company donations, but also with employees volunteering their time to help make each occasion a success. We are grateful for our relationship with the Veterans Home and have enjoyed the opportunities that have come our way to show our support.
Willoway Nurseries employees have participated in our annual food drive for the Second Harvest Food Bank for many years. We set a goal each year of around 1500 units to give back to families in need. This local food bank counts on Willoway as one of its largest supporters annually. Employees join together and help load the truck when the food bank picks up our collection, which is a great feeling!
"The Nord Center is a non-profit, community mental health center serving Lorain and Huron Counties. The organization was founded in 1947 and currently serves approximately 7,000 people per year. The Nord Center’s mission is engaging people in our community to achieve mental and emotional health through
prevention, treatment, and advocacy. The Nord Center services include core mental health services; crisis and suicide prevention; supportive housing; and sexual assault and trauma response services. Since 2005 the agency has provided core mental health services to children and adolescents. The Nord Center's emergency crisis, housing, sexual assault and trauma response services operate 24 hours per day 365 days per year."
Willoway has been involved in a variety of fundraisers to assist The Nord Center including collecting books and movies for their children’s library; collecting hats, gloves, and clothing; and Willoway had huge success in collecting school supplies, all donated to The Nord Center.
Willoway Nurseries Sales staff began collecting toys, clothing, food, and cash for the Lorain County Salvation Army Toy drive in 1999. Each year they collected more and more to outdo the previous years. Soon other departments began donating to be a part of giving back to the community.
Fast forward to 2015 when Willoway Nurseries implemented the Great Game of Business, GGOB for short, an open book management concept of doing business. The company took over the toy drive and designated it a companywide annual GGOB mini game, running November through the first week of December. This extended collection time allows our seasonal workers to be involved in the toy drive before leaving at the end of the peak season.
The Elyria Chronicle Telegram is the collection point for donation drop off. Willoway receives a list of the most requested items needed for that year. We pass this information along to our employees at our weekly GGOB meeting. A collection goal is then set – higher than the previous year, and we strive to meet this company goal, reviewing each week how close we are to reaching the target. So far, we haven’t missed yet! Willoway Nurseries management and employees look forward every year to giving back to our community through donations of much needed toys, clothing, food, and cash.
Willoway Employees at BLOOM! Event
Seed Your Future is the movement to promote horticulture and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants. We envision a world where everyone understands and values the importance of plants and the people who work in the art, science, technology, and business of horticulture. Utilizing Seed Your Future’s BLOOM! activities, Willoway is championing plants in exciting and inspiring ways.
Willoway staff presented sessions aimed at 3rd – 6th grade youth at a local library, including displaying different seeds, discussing various career paths in the horticulture industry, distributing seed packets to children who asked or answered questions and helping each child sow sunflower seeds to take home to care for.
Willoway Nurseries was so impressed with the resources of Seed Your Future, we selected SYF as the recipient of a unique fundraising campaign. We ran a campaign at the nursery called Donate your Change to Make a Change. Our goal was to support 10 middle school classrooms with BLOOM! materials at $19.50 per classroom, totaling $195. Willoway employees blew that goal out of the water and collected over $600! Excited to share our plant-passion with students, we plan many more such offerings in the future.
Willoway Nurseries and Premier Plant Solutions supports the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital located in Tennessee, which provides treatment to children with life threatening illnesses at no cost to their families. Each year Willoway and Premier gives back to our local community by donating plant material for an entire landscape at the Cleveland St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. Team members partner with local landscapers to design the landscape, select the locally grown plant material from our nursery, deliver, and install the material at the home. Dozens of local trade companies come together to donate their time, materials, and efforts to build the home. $2 Million dollars are raised for St. Jude by selling tickets for a chance to win the home. This community event is a great way to partner with like-minded companies all working together to help make others’ lives a little easier in times of serious illness.
“One of the most beautiful things in the world is a child’s smile. The next best thing? Knowing that you are the reason behind it”. Stein’s team hosted the 5th annual FrankenStein’s event at our Capitol Drive store benefitting Variety – the Children’s Charity of Wisconsin. Our efforts, combined with our vendors and service providers, raised over $30K to support adaptative bicycles and other equipment for children with disabilities. The creative efforts, fund-raising activities, and enthusiastic energy of our collective team was simply amazing! Lynn Hawkins Chief Financial Officer Steins Garden & Home Wisconsin.
Willoway Nurseries has participated as part of the team to support this great charity during the Halloween season. It gives children a fun event and collects funds that will help them adapt to the challenges that they face each day.