More than just a cereal
For James Beavers, his wife Shelly, and their two kids, Cheerios are more than just a cereal.
Growing up, their kids could never get enough Cheerios. Each morning, when Shelly would give the kids their O’s, she would tell them that she loved them more than all the Cheerios in the world.
The phrase became a motto for their family. As the kids grew up, she continued to say it to them and they would repeat it back her, to their dad and to each other.
Sadly, Shelly passed away 18 months ago from cancer. Today, the family thinks of her every time they pour a bowl of Cheerios, see a Cheerios commercial or see them in the store.
Recently, the Beavers attended a virtual silent auction for the Minnesota Colorectal Cancer Research Foundation (MCCRF) and one item up for auction immediately caught their eye – a custom Cheerios box.
“When we saw this item on the MCCRF auction, the kids zoned in on this and monitored the bidding. They were less concerned with the trips, jewelry and sports memorabilia, rather, were fully focused on ‘their’ box of Cheerios, says James Beavers. “We were driving from Detroit back to Chicago when we received the text that we were the highest bidders and I wish I had a picture of the reaction from both of my kids.”
When the family reached out to the General Mills Brand Experience team with what they wanted customized on their Cheerios box, their story was so touching that they knew they had to do more than send them just one Cheerios box.
“Oftentimes people cherish a piece of jewelry, a clothing item, a favorite book to remember a loved one, but I am beyond touched that the food we make, that a box of Cheerios, is what this family uses as a way to remind them of the love of their mother,” says Kaylee Pohlmeyer, Brand Experience manager, General Mills. “For me, this wasn’t about how Cheerios makes the good go round, but about the love this family shares, connected by a box of Cheerios. It is an honor for General Mills to be part of their story.”
Jen Smith, senior Brand Experience planner on the Cheerios team worked her magic to surprise the Beavers with four custom boxes – one for each member of their family – and with custom writing on the back and front to make these such a special keepsake for their family to remember their mother.
“To many, this is a cool box of cereal that went toward an incredible cause for a silent auction. For my children, it is another element toward their healing as they know mom had a hand in connecting it to them. I cannot thank General Mills and MCCRF enough,” says Beavers.
“We are so much more than just a food company, and this story reminded me of that and why I love working for General Mills. We truly serve the world by making food the world loves, but it is so much more than that,” says Pohlmeyer.