By: Jonathan Stover, Michelle McCullers and Ryan VanEmburgh
The following blog has been written by three separate CnK team members and edited and melded together by me, Christin. We wanted to take a little time to tell you a little about our end of the year Community Outreach projects. All of these projects were successful, not just for the need that was filled, but for the reminder to us about what is really important and how blessed we are to have our work, our homes, and our families.
Let’s just face it, we have it pretty good. Your car won’t start? At least you have one. You’re a little late on your mortgage payment? At least you have one. Having some difficulties at work, well, let just face it, you’re lucky you have a job at all. The same can be said about so many aspects of our lives. Even those most fundamental, rudimentary things we tend to overlook and take for granted. Even those things that mean the most, like family.
When we find ourselves in the middle of the holiday season, our focus shifts from the business of life to the often overlooked, often times underappreciated “important” things in our lives. We spend less time in the office working on the things that “just can’t wait”, and more time on things like spending time with those we love. Our priorities change and we again realize what’s been important all along. At CablesAndKits, we believe that one of the most important parts of the holiday season is giving back to others.
Our CnK co-workers are like family. Often times we end up spending more time with each other then we do our “real” families. With that being said, the holiday spirit and the return to the “important” was an easy migration from the home, to our home away from home, the office.
To put actions to words, we chose an organization to assist. We decided that helping those that cannot help themselves and providing a little “family” was the way to go, so we chose to do four projects for a local children’s home, the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. The children who live in the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter have been removed from difficult situations that have been deemed abusive or unhealthy for their well-being. The shelter cares for them and provides them with all the basic things that they need, but the shelter can never replace their families. We recognized that the holidays were probably a hard time for the children at the shelter, and we wanted to do something to hopefully bring a little cheer into their lives.
Family traditions seem to be centered around holidays for us here in America. Whether your tradition is decorating a Christmas tree or illuminating lawns with strands of glowing lights that can be seen from galaxies afar, we can all relate to having them. In many of our shopping malls, Jingle Bells is played over and over, our homes may be saturated with the scents of peppermint candles and Christmas trees, and most of us will surprise family and friends with carefully wrapped boxes with gifts inside of them. Everyone in this world loves to receive gifts, but there would certainly be something missing if there was no one to give them.
The projects that we chose to participate in were delivering a cooked meal, helping wrap gifts donated to the children living in the shelter, sponsoring a child who would enter the GCS close to Christmas and therefore wouldn’t have gifts waiting like the other children, and as a company we donated a gift to each child.
Jonathan’s Project: The project that I was involved in was delivering a cooked meal for the forty teenagers. A team consisting of myself and eight other co-workers prepared a home-style meal that included ham, turkey, macaroni and cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, brownies and cookies. Let me tell you how rewarding it feels to give to those who truly need it. It was our pleasure to provide those kids with a little bit of home that they might not have received any other way. Let’s just face it, no matter how tough things get, no matter how many things we think we need and don’t have, what we need to cherish is the most important thing of all… family.
Michelle’s Project: The gift wrapping project that we took on was very hands on and was fun for us to do as a sort of extended CnK family. There were six CnK team members who came along with four family members. We were able go into one of the shelter’s homes, see how some of the children live, and meet the director. Our team wrapped all of the gifts that CnK bought for each child (a super cool Jansport backpack and a Chik-fil-a gift card) along with several bags of other gifts for three children living in the shelter. Michelle organized a collection of gift wrap, tape, and scissors at the office and gathered our six team members to be there on wrapping day. She had this to say about wrapping gifts, “ It really was an eye opening experience going there, seeing where the kids live, hearing the stories of what they’ve been through, and how they are overcoming it now by being at the shelter. I am glad we were able to help and experience it firsthand. It really makes you look at your own life and appreciate what you have. There are so many people out there that do not have the luxuries that we take for granted every day.”
Ryan’s Project: The most important part of the Holiday Season is giving back to others and being selfless. CablesAndKits recognizes the importance of giving, and we decided to sponsor a child this past Christmas. Through this project we were able to focus the generosity and efforts of the employees at CablesAndKits by playing “Santa” for one of the children in the program. The CablesAndKits warehouse becomes Santa’s little workshop right before Christmas, so it fit right into our theme. We collected Holiday Spirit from everyone at CablesAndKits and then a few of us braved the malls to find the items on our child’s Christmas list. I know Christmas morning our sponsored child had a smile on his face, and that is the best gift we could ask for.
Here are a few pictures from our food delivery and gift wrapping projects: