As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, July 2011.
Lisa Perkins, project manager, Supreme Lending
Project Donating gifts to the Buckner Children's Home
How This past December, Supreme Lending raised money and donated gifts to 24 at-risk elementary-age children from Dallas' Buckner Children's Home.
Perkins says the children's home sent a spreadsheet of gifts the children wanted. Employees had the chance to fulfill the children's wishes. Children's names were hung on angel ornaments on the company's holiday tree, Perkins says.
"We have 120 employees, and there weren't enough angels for everyone," she says. "We had Santa's Helpers for those who couldn't get an angel, and they also gave money."
In addition to employees buying gifts, the company raised money through a "casual day" fundraising program, whereby employees bought stickers that allowed them to wear jeans to work for the day.
The children were brought to the Supreme Lending corporate office for a holiday pizza party, Perkins says, which featured Santa and Mrs. Claus and a professional photographer.
Why Perkins, who set this project up, says the company has always given back during the holiday season.
"This year, we decided to work with kids," she says. "To us, Christmas is for kids. Plus, we never got to see recipients of gifts [before]. We [brought] the kids to us so anyone who wanted to stay and watch could."
Impact Perkins says that in addition to buying the children gifts, employees raised $2,000 through the company's casual-day fundraising program.
"With the money we raised, we got them all scooters and helmets [in addition to the gifts from their wish lists]. We also gave each child a $30 Wal-Mart gift card," she says. "Everything we raised was for the kids."
When they gave the presents, they did so one at a time, Perkins says. "The looks on [the children's] faces was total amazement. To me, that's what Christmas is about — it was the most rewarding thing I've ever seen."
Perkins says on the day of the holiday party, about 99 percent of the corporate office employees stayed to help. She adds that the company will plan something similar for this coming holiday season.
"This time, we're going to start in September to get everything set," Perkin says. "A lot of the employees want to help the kids."
Try it Buckner International: buckner.org
Ivanna C. Sukkar is the editor of Scotsman Guide. Reach her at (800) 297-6061 or email@example.com.
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