Matthew Fleeger’s experience with cancer led to the partnership between Gulf Coast Western and the Sadie Keller Foundation. Fleeger has contributed $25,000 and allocates his employees to work on the foundation’s annual Christmas drive. The goal is to collect toys and give them to young cancer patients. Over time, the initial projection of 10,000 toys has now increased by over 25 percent. 2020 was a strong year for the project because of the limitations the patients faced during the pandemic.
Matthew Fleeger puts Gulf Coast Western employees together based on a type of toy. They are allowed a limit of 6,000 items from a retailer, and these products can range from dolls to popular brands. The gifts are delivered in person at the foundation’s Christmas party to make Sadie Keller and her employees involved. 2020 was significant because the focus shifted to buying items for a single person to play with. Masks may have hidden the joy on the faces of Sadie and the children, but it didn’t diminish the feeling of accomplishment.
The pandemic also impacted how fundraising operates, leaving many people unable to contribute to charities. Gulf Coast Western has been a driving force behind making sure that the Sadie Keller Foundation’s Christmas project could expand its reach. The company also promotes the Yellow Ball fundraiser, an event that they hope to continue working with once the pandemic concludes in the United States. Some of the highlights of the fundraiser include a dinner/dance, raffles, and auctioning some of Keller’s artwork. Matthew Fleeger uses his philanthropic reach to tackle the issue of insufficient funding for researching pediatric cancer, as well as raising awareness in general.
The company also contributes resources to the North Texas Food Bank. They work with Smile Train, an organization that offers services for children with cleft palates. The entity ties itself to researching diseases through St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Shriner Hospitals. Fleeger’s company also backs the education of any children pursuing a STEM career path. They are also prominent for providing resources to Magdalene House, a community built for women escaping sex trafficking.