Partnering with Immaculata High School in Somerville, New Jersey and Seton Hall University to Support the Cabwaylingo Appalachian Mission
Every year, during the week before Christmas, representatives from CBI Workplace Solutions and the Live Love Serve Foundation meet volunteers from Immaculata High School and Seton Hall University in Wayne County, West Virginia to provide outreach and support to the people of a small coal mining town called Dunlow. Dunlow, West Virginia is an area where the local economy has been decimated and most of its residents are living in extreme poverty. The people in this community struggle to make ends meet day after day and very rarely have extra to ensure Christmas traditions for their families.
Hung Thang, CBI Installer; Bill Likens, Ministry Director; Jeanine Cavanaugh of Immaculate Conception Church; and Al Wyngard, CBI Supervisor, pose for a picture during this year’s Christmas outreach in Dunlow, West Virginia.
We first learned about the people of Dunlow through CBI’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, David Longo. David’s sister Jeanine Cavanaugh has spent 35 years doing mission work in Dunlow with Immaculate Conception Church. In fact, she and her husband Jim befriended 12-year old Bill Likens, when they were on a mission to Dunlow as college students. A friendship was born, and as they continued to visit the area year after year, the people of this small town continued to make a large impact on their hearts.
David Longo, Founder, Chairman and CEO of CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation, gets ready to deliver Christmas boxes to the children of Dunlow.
“Our relationship with the Dunlow community goes back a very long time,” says David. “I’ve always heard stories from my sister Jeanine about the mission work she and the church were doing in West Virginia and then about eight years ago she mentioned to me that they were going to be helping out with building a community center in the area. As I talked with her more about it, I realized that CBI could provide furniture for the center as a small gesture to help this town get back on its feet. This was how our organization and Associates first became connected to the Dunlow community.”
David and the team at CBI decommissioned unused furniture from other client sites and drove it up to Dunlow in a huge truck a few weeks before the community center opened. Initially only asked for two desks and two chairs, CBI delivered much more than that and furnished the entire building from offices to lounge space. After meeting the people in Dunlow on this trip and seeing the amazing result of having a community center in town, CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation decided they wanted to do more to support Dunlow and its residents every year.
This is how the Cabwaylingo Appalachian Mission was born. Created in partnership with CBI, the Live Love Serve Foundation and Immaculate Conception, the goal of the Cabwaylingo Appalachian Mission is to enrich the lives of others by loving, serving, leading and nurturing in the name of Jesus.
The Mission envisions a God-sized miracle transforming the Dunlow region into a productive, supportive and Christ-centered community of healthy families.
The Cabwaylingo Appalachian Mission sponsors an annual Christmas event where local families can gather to open gifts, enjoy a holiday meal and decorate Christmas trees at the community center in town. CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation contribute to this event by donating Christmas gift boxes, delivering trees and funding many of the festivities that occur throughout the event.
The Outreach Team prepares the Dunlow Community Center for the upcoming Christmas festivities.
This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents lined up in their cars to receive Christmas boxes.
“CBI has been sponsoring the Dunlow Christmas Event for the last 6 years and I have been lucky enough to attend almost every year,” says Thom Klingman, VP New Business Development. “On my first trip to Dunlow, it was a truly humbling experience for me to see how these families lived. I had no idea the poverty that was experienced, yet it was heartwarming to see the huge smiles of the children in the community as they got to spend a day celebrating Christmas with our volunteers. Their parents were also so gracious and grateful, it was an eye-opening experience and is the reason I try to go back whenever I can.”
The children of Dunlow look forward to the Cabwaylingo Christmas Event all year long and are so happy to spend time with the volunteers when they arrive.
The volunteers supporting the mission love getting to know the kids in the community and forming friendships with them that last for years. Mr. and Mrs. Claus, played by Jeanine Cavanaugh and her husband Jim, make an appearance at the Cabwaylingo Appalachian Christmas event every year.
CBI and the Live Love Serve Foundation don’t only support the Cabwaylingo Appalachian Mission at Christmas time, but also provide regular support throughout the year. In fact, in the spring of 2021, CBI Associates will head to Dunlow again to build a home for a resident in need.
John Kline, VP of Strategic Solutions at CBI says, “The Cabwaylingo Appalachian Mission and the people of Dunlow are very close to our hearts, and we will always be there to support the community’s future growth and needs of the people. Our Associates recently hosted a fundraiser to raise the money for materials and labor that will go into building a home for a resident in need, and I’m proud to say we were able to raise $40,000 in two days, far exceeding our initial fundraising goals. We are extremely excited about continuing to do good in the area and look forward to our next trip in the spring.”
“Supporting the Dunlow Community and participating in the Cabwaylingo Christmas Event each year has become a huge part of CBI’s culture,” says David Longo. “The work we do in Dunlow is the ultimate embodiment of our Live Love Serve Philosophy which is to live a God centered life focused on love and doing this by serving our communities through support of religious and other charitable organizations that positively impact people. I’m so proud of our organization and the excitement they have for supporting the people in Dunlow and know we will continue to make a great impact here in the future.”
Learn more about Immaculate Conception Church, the Cabwaylingo Appalachian Mission and the town of Dunlow. If you are interested in providing financial or physical support to this cause, please reach out to the Live Love Serve Foundation.