This past November our staff here at Diamond Public Relations sat in the conference room discussing what to send our clients for the holidays. We wanted each of them to know how much we cherish their relationship. That said, we couldn’t figure out what to send that would have impact and be special.
Believe me we had a lot of ideas… from tree planting to gift baskets (which we collectively decided against, as no one really needs another basket of cookies or bottle of wine). But none of them really resonated, until we decided to spend the money adopting a needy family for Christmas, on behalf of Diamond PR and our clients.
For most of us, this was one of the most impactful things we had ever done.
We went through a local news station and found an organization that helped facilitate this. We received so many “applications” from case workers, individuals etc. and the selection process was difficult. We really wanted a family that needed the help as they had fallen on hard times or just that their circumstances were such that reaching out for help was something they had no choice but to do. On December 17th we found our family. A young woman and her three young children ages 2, 4 and 5. An immigrant from Haiti, her job in data entry makes just enough to pay the rent and utility bills, with very little left over. Her husband remains in Haiti due to challenges in getting him a visa. For three years she has not been able to provide her own children with any Christmas treats.
On December 21st, we brought a tree with all the trimmings to her house, along with snacks for her and the kids to round out our tree decorating party. The kids loved it. I don’t know if they had ever strung lights on a tree or hung ornaments. Then it was time for presents. The kids helped us put them under the tree and their mother declared, “I don’t think I’ve ever had a tree with so many gifts under it in my entire life.” (We also wrapped some presents in “santa” paper and put them in her closet so on Christmas morning she could put them out and the kids would think that Santa had visited that night.) We let the kids open two of their presents that day and they beamed.
What I think affected each of us on a visceral level was when we handed the mother a Christmas card with a Target gift card and a grocery store gift card for $200.00. She started to cry and hugged each of us. We were all misty eyed.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget with all of the stress and importance on numbers and making money, that for some people, something as basic as food is a challenge. It reminded us that we are all very blessed with health, success, wonderful family, colleagues and friends — and that something as basic as providing food isn’t a challenge. How lucky we truly are.
Because of our wonderful group of clients, Diamond PR was able to make this happen for a deserving family, helping make this holiday special and memorable for everyone concerned.
Back in our Miami office, we all agreed to make this a yearly tradition.