Giving children a good night's sleep
For many organizations, and here at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (well, until this year, when we changed our year-end by a month), December marks not only calendar year end but also end of Q2 and I bet you know what that means — especially if you work in finance, like me.
To make working over Christmas a little more enjoyable for the NCC finance team each year, we organize a Secret Santa event to exchange presents with each other. In December 2009, the late Marjorie Kozlowski (an NCC colleague who'd been treated as part of the finance team) asked whether anyone really needed another coffee mug filled with treats, a Tim Horton’s gift card, some bath products you know you won’t be using or another big box of chocolates. She challenged us to do something different; do something for others and not for us.
It got us thinking: what if we pooled the money each of us were going to spend on Secret Santa and find a family and help them have a decent hot meal for Christmas or get warm blankets and jackets to keep out of cold harsh winter? We all agreed, and since then we have started collecting money to do something for others. Our boss Kamal then secured matching fund through Lions Club International so we can stretch our collection.
In 2012 and 2013, we raised money to provide bed kits to children who are in underdeveloped and developing countries through Sleeping Children Around the World. And since we pride ourselves in NCC's lower administration costs, we were thrilled to see that 100 per cent of each bed kit donation reaches a needy child and the operations are run by volunteers.
Last year we received their heartfelt thank you letter and their newsletter. This year to our pleasant surprise, their letter accompanied a photo of the recipient kids in Uganda with their bed kits (see above)! We were all thrilled to see the result of our small deed resulted in these happy kids half way across the world!
Christmas and holiday season are only months away and if this photo and letter won’t motivate us to do more, I don’t know what will!