One of the things I really enjoy about the holiday season is the giving. Here at IAT we have a long tradition of giving throughout the year, but especially in December. In the past, we have hosted a food drive with all donations going to the Utah Food Bank. This usually turns into a companywide contest complete with scandals and cheating.
On a personal note, this past year was pretty rough for my family. But for every bad thing that happened, something good also happened. Something wonderful and usually amazing. For example, my husband had been out of work for several months when we received a check in the mail for a large sum of money—completely anonymous—that helped cover our expenses for another month. I have not forgotten the kindness I received this summer.
When it was time to start planning our holiday project, I suggested we try a Sub-4-Santa giving opportunity versus the food drive. I was thinking about how grateful I was to receive unexpected gifts and, quite frankly, was certain the scandals and cheating of the food drive probably weren’t the best way to encourage company peace through the holidays. We decided to try it and petitioned the other employees for suggestions on families to help.
We decided to help Tasha, a stay-at-home mom with 3 children and a husband away on a tour of Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the National Guard. While on tour, her husband’s paycheck is substantially smaller than when he is stateside working full time, so some extra presents would definitely be a help.
Hats, gloves, pants, shoes, a little girl’s coat, toys—I made a list of needed and wanted items. I tried to make sure each child’s list was equal, even if that meant the almost 2 year old got diapers and wet wipes. I also made sure to add a few things for Tasha and even a couple of games and movies for everyone to enjoy. The list items became ornaments on the company tree and everyone was encouraged to take one or two and head out shopping.
The gifts were gathered, wrapped and decorated. Do you know how much ribbon and time it takes to decorate that many gifts to near professional perfection…a lot! We loaded the gifts into the delivery vehicle (not a sleigh, sadly, but a Lincoln Town Car) and waited for any reaction pictures.
There were tears. There were smiles. There was happiness. And that was just from employees. I can only imagine the joy that was felt by this young family who didn’t know Santa Claus was coming in the form of IAT.
This year, look for meaningful opportunities to serve others as a company. For my part, I hope IAT’s 2013 giving is equally meaningful and scandal free.
This article was written by Melissa