A Time of Giving

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Fall…it’s my favorite time of year. The air is crisp, the leaves are colorful and exercising outdoors is once again appealing.  Most of all, its this time of year that I turn my attention to one of my favorite events of the year: #GivingTuesday.   While Cyber Monday and Black Friday  are fun and a great way to save some money, it's #GivingTuesday that's become a well loved family tradition in our home.  #GivingTuesday was started in 2012 with the intention of celebrating giving and helping others.  It’s always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and this year it lands on November 27.

SAS joined in on the #GivingTuesday movement in 2014 and this global effort has become a cherished family event for us.  For the past 4 years, I’ve talked with my children about this celebration of giving and what we can do as a family to give year round.  We look through toys to make sure all pieces are in good working order, pack up gently used clothes, and then go together to donate them to a local donation center.  I enjoy these opportunities where we get to talk about sharing and recycling.

This year we donated Halloween costumes to InterAct , an organization located in Wake County that provides services for families impacted by domestic and sexual violence.  Later this fall, we'll select children from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree collection.  We go shopping together and I enjoy watching them put thought into the clothes they think would be comfortable and warm.  We also shop together for items for the Food Bank of NC.  We all take time to put thought into food that is nutritious and meets the Food Bank’s requests.

New this year, we are donating children's books to help support SAS’s #GivingTuesday efforts.  At first it took some persuading for them to part with their beloved books.  But, after explaining the benefits to others, they started going through their mounds of books and picking out ones they thought others would enjoy.  You too can participate in this event!  Cary HQ employees may be drop off  new and gently used children's books at the RFC, Work Life, or Childcare Centers through November 27.  The books collected will be donated to several organizations:

Not in the Cary area or not a SAS Employee, check out the organizations above or find some in your community and drop off those books!

Compassion, empathy, and responsibility are all qualities that are important to me to teach my children.  To teach these skills, we must demonstrate giving with both our actions and our words.  Giving comes in many different forms: our daily interactions with others, a litter sweep, donating blood, singing for a retirement community, volunteering at a shelter or helping a neighbor.  When I think about teaching my children about the importance of giving, I envision a brighter future.

Our family is not the only one giving back to our community!  Here's what  are some of my RFC team members are doing to give back…

I donate my time every week to my church where I offer chair yoga.  I also plan to donate time in Nov, Dec or Jan to Lacey Elementary as a reader because I love books and I know how valuable they are to us at all ages! ~Rebecca E. Allen, RFC Program Coordinator

The kids do some of the regular things you see through church, school and sports teams with their outreach programs, but one thing that they do on their own I really like.  The three of them, led by my son, will put together “care packages” for the people you see at off ramps that we see everywhere.  They use a large zip lock freezer bag and fill it with socks, energy bars, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, notes of encouragement, etc….  I really like it because I don’t like to give out cash not knowing where it ends up, and I like the convenience of having it ready to give out (we keep them in our vehicles).  And I love it because they thought of doing it with no prompting from anyone.  😊 ~ Mark Hassig, Assistant Manager, Recreation and Fitness

Every Christmas I have my son donate a large bag or two of toys he no longer plays with. I teach him that other kids may not have toys and how much it means to them to receive those toys. We also buy new toys for kids in need each year for Christmas as well. I let him pick out those toys and he enjoys doing that for others.  He has also been taught to save money from his weekly allowance each week that he donates to our church. Food drives is something else we participate in.  He understands that some children are less fortunate and that he should be grateful for what he has. ~ Carli McCaffrey, Office Administrator

I teach a free yoga class at my son's school each week for students.  Learning mindfulness can't start too early!  Our family really enjoys participating in the Salvation Army's Angel Tree through SAS each year.  We also have been known to hand out a bag of goodies - socks, snacks, water, and hygiene products to those asking for help on the streets in our community.  One thing I wish we did more - random acts of kindness!  On the occasion that we've bought ice cream for the family behind us in line at Cold Stones or some other treat and then talked as a family how these acts spread joy.  You never really know how that little moment could impact a big moment later on!  ~Amanda Pack, RFC Program Coordinator

We always donate when possible at checkout for the grocery store, pet store, etc. We have the kids participate. We decide how much to donate together and have them enter the amount on the display when possible. They use some of their allowance money to contribute. ~ Danny Bass, RFC Program Coordinator

My girls donate their time on a friends farm on occasion, to help with chores.  When we go for walks, we always collect any trash along the path.  A couple times a year we go through toys that are no longer played with as well as clothing to donate. ~ Cheryl Wheelock, RFC Program Coordinator

My wife and I have volunteered and helped at the Raleigh Rescue Mission serving food and spending time with those less fortunate.  We have also adopted a family in Hatti and sent supplies as that part of the world is still struggling and hasn’t fully recovered.  As a family we donate our family’s  clothes and toys to our church where they distribute them to needed families.  ~ Benny Saint Romain, Manager, Recreation and Fitness

Here is one of our family stories:  We are a very patriotic family. My father served in World War II and my brother-in-law served in Vietnam and was wounded in action.  We wanted to thank the troops for serving and protecting us after 9/11. We joined the group called We Do Care (they supported the troops). My oldest adopted a soldier and had her entire eighth-grade class participate in bringing donations to send overseas to the troops. It was so well received that the entire school participated. It was truly so rewarding for my children  to see the outpouring compassion and generosity from their peers. ~ Christine Halk, Office Administrator

My daughter and I gather clothes once a year to give to Interact (domestic violence shelter).  Women and children need the clothes to create a new life and it feels good to do it.  My husband, daughter and I choose a boy and girl on an angel tree (or with Y Princesses when my daughter was younger) or other avenue and purchase gifts to put under their tree for the holidays.  It’s always something fun because while they need the necessities, they also need to be a child.  My family also contributes to the Samaritan’s Purse which is something we look forward to doing.  We’re also huge pet people and give animal food to shelters, money and whatever they need.  Somehow we’ve adopted furry family members this way too! ~ Celeste Cooper-Peel, Assistant Manager, Recreation and Fitness

How do you give back to your community?

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