Back in the late 1980’s, when we started to get the feeling our little (DAM) company was going to be able to bring useful products to market, we wanted to establish a tradition and culture of giving back every year to those in need. From the beginning we wanted to do what we could to make sure kids who otherwise would not receive anything for the Christmas holidays would have something to look forward to. So prior to each of the last 25 holiday seasons our Quincy, MA staff has gone to an area toy store and, on behalf of the whole company, loaded up carts with toys, which we then deliver to ABCD (Action for Boston Community Development www.bostonabcd.org) to help with their Holiday Toy Drive. As ABCD says “Without this annual program, many of Boston’s poorest kids would not receive presents.” Our staff has gotten pretty good over the years, and sometimes we get discounts or special deals from the toy stores to stretch every dollar. This year, because of the cost of heating, ABCD is concerned there will be children enduring the cold as they try to sleep at home, and so one agenda was to purchase sleeping bags.
Shortly after 9/11 we also started reaching out to organizations helping military families, and for families who have had a member injured or killed, or who have had to endure a long separation, we ask what their kids would like for Xmas and make sure Santa takes care of it.
Most companies have ornate holiday parties. We thought we would rather spend those funds on toys for the inner city kids, but we still have a party: it is pot luck, so everyone brings in their favorite dish, and we follow it up with a Yankee Swap of hilarious, inexpensive presents. We like that this allows us to put as much money as possible into the toys, and we all feel pretty good Xmas morning knowing there are a lot of new smiles we had a small part in creating.
This year over 650 kids will receive something from us, and over the last 25 years we estimate something like 10,000 kids have received presents from our little efforts. None of this would be possible without the support of our customers, and we especially want to thank them for allowing us the ability to give back.