It was Giving Tuesday, and two significantly sized companies with a Washington County presence – one specializing in glass, the other in gas – did their share to spread comfort and joy.

CNX Resources Corp. contributed by feeding three food banks with a $5,000 donation apiece, while Rex Glass & Mirror did it with mirrors, donating four of them to Washington City Mission.

“We were looking for an organization that could put mirrors to good use immediately,” said Sandy Rectenwald, production manager of Rex Glass. “We chose City Mission and its veterans house. One of my great-uncles was a veteran and so are four employees.”

Rex Glass maintains a formidable presence along Route 19 in Peters Township, where Sandy’s great-grandfather, Joe Rectenwald, and three other family members started the company in 1958.

About five miles west, in the heart of Southpointe, CNX Resources donated through its CNX Foundation. The foundation is the fairly new philanthropic arm of the natural gas exploration and production company, which employs 467.

CNX Foundation provided funds to Food Helpers in Centerville, Washington County; Corner Cupboard Food Bank, Greene County; and Westmoreland Food Bank, Delmont.

Tuesday was a fortuitous day for Corner Cupboard, in Waynesburg, which launched its Food Bank Virtual Fund Drive at that time.

Food banks and pantries have endured numerous challenges during the 20-month-long pandemic. Many faced record requests for food and supplies last holiday season. These demands diminished for awhile, but have picked up in recent weeks because of the delta variant. Fundraising remains an issue for a number of these organizations as well.

Some food banks also have expanded services to include residents beyond their typical regions or county borders, where food banks are smaller.

CNX Foundation said it has committed $30 million over six years to assist underserved populations in the Appalachian Basin. That includes initiatives such as this series of donations in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania.

Brian Aiello, board chair of CNX Foundation, said in a statement: “We created the CNX Foundation specifically to support organizations like these, who are the grass-roots tip of the spear in the local fight against hunger.”

City Mission, whose pledge is to provide hope for the homeless, got a boost at its downtown Washington headquarters when Rex Glass delivered the four large mirrors Tuesday.

“They’re all beveled with a polished flair,” Rectenwald said. “It has a little more decorative flair, a more finished look. We wanted to give them the nicest products that we could.”

Officials at the West Wheeling Street complex are pleased. But where to place them?

“We plan to put one of the mirrors up immediately in our Crabtree-Kovacicek Veterans House for our veteran residents,” said Gary Porter, City Mission’s communications manager. “The other three probably will go up after the holidays at the Veterans House or Women’s Shelter. We’ll put them where residents will get the most enjoyment out of them.”

Leah Dietrich, director of Residential Programs, was laudatory of Rex Glass’ largesse.

“We love getting donations like this,” she said. “They are beautiful mirrors, and they came with all the hardware we need to hang them.”

Steve Adams, manager of Veterans Services, added: “It’s an amazing donation. They really are beautiful mirrors.”

Rex Glass has been a regional staple for 63 years, and continues to expand. The company employs 72 at four locations – Kennedy Township, its headquarters; Peters; Shadyside and Zelienople.

“We still think of ourselves as a small business,” Sandy Rectenwald said. “But we like to think of ourselves as the biggest glass company in the region.”

The company came up big on Tuesday.

“Throughout history, we’ve made small and large contributions,” said Dawn Petrosky, vice president of brand development and communications. “We believe strongly in giving back and this is one example.”

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. See official rules here.

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. If you have a subscription, please Log In.