For the past 5 years around the holidays, FSG 14 Perth Amboy has chosen families in town to assist during the holidays.
The assistance has included Christmas gifts, a Christmas tree, toys, electronics, winter clothes, school supplies, supermarket gift cards and more. These families are identified with assistance from the city’s social services department as those who have had tough times and trying to recover.
For 2013, the charity was expanded to all divisions in the Northeast through a campaign called “Brighten The Holidays”. Each branch could create any charitable contribution they wished for their area. Once the division managers delivered the campaign to their branches, the employees began identifying local families and organizations that could need assistance.
Division 14 Perth Amboy, NJ chose local families who were told to abandon their home which was deemed hazardous after Hurricane Sandy. This family was not able to retrieve any of their belongings and were living in a motel with no plans to have a Christmas. As usual every year, the team of Terry Sherwood, Lissette Hernandez, Kathy Hernandez, Evelyn Guzman and others in the branch created a Christmas for the entire family. Toys and clothes for the children, clothes for the parents, schools supplies, and supermarket gift cards were all wrapped and delivered on Christmas Eve to ensure a joyful holiday for the entire family, and warm clothes for the upcoming winter freeze.
Division 21 Philadelphia employees Anna & Pat Haviland were considering asking Division Manager Joseph Reuter if FSG contributes in anyway during the holidays. The day they were considering speaking with Joe, he sent the email announcing the charity campaign, solidifying their faith in our company. They chose the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, which is one of the premier childrens care centers in the United States. The coordinator at the hospital requested to concentrate on toys for infants, so Anna made a b-line to Babies R Us ! See attached pictures of the FSG truck delivering the gifts on Christmas Eve.
Division 22 Baltimore donated bikes during the local hospitals bike run for kids. Kennedy Kriger hospital was able to have a great holiday when a truckload of bikes were delivered via an FSG delivery truck.
Division 24 Lynbrook chose a woman who was identified by the local pastor by employee Charles Reed. The woman who FSG assisted lost her husband this year, and has a daughter with various challenges. When she was approached in church to discuss the charity, she went home and sent the following heartwarming email that pretty much says it all:
“Something happened today in my life, I am not sure if I am hallucinating but I think you introduced me to a fine couple from Texas and their daughter. They asked me to write a wish list for Christmas, so I am going to write this list, maybe I am not hallucinating and was real, since God only knows what I have gone, and going thru, he might be having mercy on me. I am not sure what is happening to me, but I am almost positive that it did happened, I believe there is nothing impossible for God. He also uses all kind of people to deliver miracles..so If I am losing my mind, please forgive me, and I apologize for taking your time, but if God answer my plea for mercy this will be my answer to him.”
Division 25 NYC had a heartwarming moment as well. Employee Lisa Zolbrecht identified a family while speaking to her church pastor. Little did she know it was a neighbor and friend who did not let anyone know of their troubles. This family is working their way back, no matter what the obstacle. The mother is going back to work to help children with challenges, demonstrating her faith to help others. She sent this extremely heartwarming and inspirational message below, as even the parents didn’t know what to expect:
“I hope you had a wonderful holiday! We all had a great Christmas here too! The generosity of you and your company helped make that possible. My girls said over and over that this was the best Christmas ever! You and your team really went above and beyond for me and my family. I never expected to receive so many things in the mail after Lisa came with the gift cards. Lisa told me not to open anything when it came, so I just wrapped everything in the shipping boxes. The Christmas spirit was truly present in our house Christmas morning. We were all shocked on Christmas morning after opening those boxes. It was just one incredible surprise after the other. I will never forget this Christmas, mostly because even though life has its ups and downs, it proves there is always hope and you should never give up. Your generosity was unbelievable, I still can’t believe it , thank you. The most important thing I would like to thank you for is a renewed faith in people. This experience energized my spirit and gave me new strength to keep going. I an extremely grateful for being chosen. It was a gift in itself. It’s a true blessing that your company does this annually. “
As you can see, the branches each chose something close their heart, in their area, that were identified by employees. This gesture helped demonstrate that the FSG family continues to create a culture of values that make it easy to come to work. The gesture of giving spread throughout the branches, and reminded everyone about what to be thankful for during the holiday season. Thank you to FSG for allowing us to create this campaign and “pay it forward” to have a direct impact on the local community.