Clayton Oxford is known as #929 in the larger corporate family that is Clayton Homes, so what better day than Sept. 29 – 9/29 – to kick off the local manufacturer’s monthlong fundraising effort called Pink October?
One long table in the breakroom at the Knotts Grove Road plant was filled Thursday with all sorts of sweets for the first of several events of Pink October. Sandra Santos, Clayton Oxford’s team member experience manager, said the bake sale would probably earn close to $400 toward a $20,000 goal. Add that to $3,700 from “Stronger Together” t-shirt sales, and they’re about a fifth of the way there. And it isn’t even October yet.
Santos said other events will be held throughout the month – hotdog lunch fundraisers, 50/50 raffles and a carnival closer to Halloween are just a few of the fun things planned.
Clayton Oxford raises money each year for Duke Cancer Institute, Santos said. The roughly 220 team members had no problem meeting last year’s goal of $15,000, and Santos predicts this year will be no different.
On hand for Thursday’s kickoff event was Kristy E. Sartin, director of external relations for Duke Supportive Care and Survivorship Center. Sartin’s program is part of the umbrella organization that is Duke Cancer Institute, which provides a range of services – at no cost – to cancer patients and their families.
Leslie Dixon, a customer care advocate for Clayton Oxford, is one such patient.
Dixon was diagnosed with melanoma in late 2020, and she said she received “amazing care” not only from her medical team but also from the folks at Duke Cancer Institute. The KidsCan! Program helped her young son process his mom’s diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
“KidsCan! helped with counseling and tutoring for my son, who was 10 at the time of my diagnosis,” Dixon said Thursday. The support he received from KidsCan! gave him a different outlook on cancer, she said.
“KidsCan! gave him an outlet and access to therapists for counseling,” Dixon said. And, he realized “they can also help me get my math grade back up,” she added.
“KidsCan! is a great program,” Santos said, “that provides support for children and teenagers…who can share their concerns and be treated with love and respect.”
Dixon said that during her six years at Clayton Oxford, there have been a number of fellow employees who have gotten a cancer diagnosis. They all went to Duke for their treatment, so it’s easy to support programs like the Duke Cancer Institute and KidsCan! because those programs have helped their friends and fellow team members.
“We’re part of a wonderful company,” Santos said. One of their core values is Do Good. And Pink October fits perfectly with that value, she said. “We do it and we serve our community in this way. We do good because it is good for everybody.”
To learn more, visit http://www.dukecancerinstitute.org/ and click Supportive Care.