Friday, December 21, 2007

Give Back This Holiday Season

When caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season – whether you’re rushing to holiday lunches, fighting your way through mall traffic, scrambling to find the right presents, or planning around a holiday party – it’s easy to overlook the spirit of giving that makes this time of year so wonderful.

Putting a twist on the traditional employee-to-employee gift giving, the DBE team modified our Secret Santa plans this year to give contributions to charities that are important to our team members instead of buying gifts for each other. Each of us made a list of our 3 favorite charities and/or causes and put our lists into a box. We each chose a Secret Santa recipient from the box and made a financial contribution to one of the organizations that he or she listed. At our holiday dinner earlier this week, we shared with each other which organizations we donated to and taught each other a little about their charitable missions.

Some of the organizations we contributed to include:

  • CASA of New Jersey - Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers ensure that children in foster care have a voice in court proceedings that determine their fates.
  • Make It Right Foundation - Helping build sustainable and high quality homes at an affordable price for the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation - Provides ongoing educational programs and funding for free mammograms to women who cannot afford them.
  • Udavum Karangel – Provides support to orphans and people in distress in India, including the donation of food, educational materials and health care.
  • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children – Helps to prevent child abduction and exploitation and provides assistance to victims and their families.
  • The Bridge School – Assists children with severe speech and physical impairments by providing educational programs to facilitate the use of augmentative and alternative means of communications and assistive technology.
  • Children’s Wish Foundation – Provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences to children diagnosed with life threatening illnesses.
  • Coats for Kids – Provides new winter coats to children in need to both keep children warm and healthy as well as to foster self esteem.

Additionally, our team will be going to help out at Mercer Street Friends Food Bank in the beginning of 2008, as they indicated they have a great need for volunteer assistance after the holidays. We’re glad to have done some good in the world during this holiday season and look forward to the volunteer activities we have scheduled for early next year as well!

To all our blog readers, DBE wishes you the very best during the holidays and throughout the New Year. See you in 2008!

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