The holiday season is a favorite time of the year for many of us. It’s not the presents or bright lights or parties that make the season, but rather the warm feeling we get from remembering what is most important in life: gratitude, friendship, family, community, fellowship and feeling cared for.
During the holiday season United Way for Greater Austin receives an outpouring of generosity from the community through volunteer efforts, donations and overall holiday joy. We too like to take part in that joy by partnering with companies to sponsor and thank the families who are featured in our marketing materials throughout the year.
Thanks to the generosity of both NXP (formerly known as Freescale) and Atlassian, ten families were “adopted” this year for the holidays. Employees from NXP and Atlassian contributed their own personal dollars to purchase and wrap gifts for each family member. Gifts included toys from personal wish lists, clothing, shoes and household items, including TVs and iPads. Many of the families asked for simple necessities, such as baking dishes and coats for the kids.
“At NXP, giving back is part of our DNA. We are proud to partner with the United Way to support making the holidays special for nine families in the greater Austin area. Our employees have really stepped up this year to support more families and try to make a difference in Austin.”
–Rick Morales, NXP
In addition, KPMG gave each family a holiday meal kit so that families could share a warm and nutritious family-style holiday meal. These kits included holidays sides, such as stuffing, and desserts.
Wells Fargo also participated this year by donating one of their signature large stuffed ponies, Nelly, which was given to a family of 11 with numerous small children. Seeing the faces of the families and children as we loaded up their car with piles upon piles of gifts was many of our employees’ favorite time of 2015; thank you to these generous companies for bringing holiday cheer to these families who share their stories with us throughout the year!
You can also help local families like these who are struggling to make ends meet throughout the year. While you may not be able to make world peace a reality in 2016, you can bring peace to individuals struggling to support their families and their selves.
For working poor families, the feeling of peace can come from the simplest of things. Being able to provide food and shelter for their children, seeing their children excel in school, and having the chance to gain new skills to make better decisions for their entire family’s future–things most of us take for granted on a day-to-day basis.
Perhaps most important to these individuals is the feeling of peace they get from knowing that they are not alone, and that members of their community truly care about them and their families.
If you have not already, please make a donation to United Way for Greater Austin to bring a brighter 2016 for the thousands of Austinites living in poverty. Your donation may not change the world–but it could change an entire family’s world.