Every year during the holidays, the team at Canadian Web Hosting heads to Union Gospel Mission to spread some holiday cheer and to give back to the community. This year was no different. UGM aims to assist communities to overcome poverty, homelessness and addiction and is an organization that we like to regularly support throughout the year.
During the holiday season, UGM runs a Christmas Hamper Program to help alleviate some of the stress of the holidays and to provide families some of the joys of the holiday season. “This is my third time volunteering for the UGM Christmas Hamper Program. It’s always been a pleasure helping these families and making them happy,” Hadir El Maghraby, HR and Operations Specialist, shares.
This is the second year that UGM set up a holiday store allowing parents to come in to shop for gifts for their family. This allows parents to select items that they know their family members will enjoy. The store featured toys, books, clothing, household items, sporting goods and toiletries to pamper every family member. Carl Incrocci, Datacentre Technician, was inspired by the entire set up: “it’s incredible to see the generosity of the community. I was impressed with the selection of gifts that UGM had collected and the compassion they showed people.”
As families come through, they were introduced to a personal shopper who helped them find items and make them feel comfortable. Following their shopping trip, families have the choice of getting their gifts wrapped and the option to get a ride home. “It’s wonderful that UGM is able to help these families and I was glad to be a part of it this year,” says Teo Boorah, Customer Experience.
This year, the CWH team volunteered in two shifts on December 20, 2018 and helped families select gifts and accompanying parents on their ride home afterwards. “I was helping a few families with picking out their gifts. It was rewarding to share in their happiness and spread a little holiday spirit,” shares Jeffrey Cheung, Datacentre Technician.
“Even though you only spend an hour or so with this individual you get to learn about them and their family,” adds Adelina Wong, Marketing Lead. “It really gave me an opportunity to make a connection in the community and to understand the hardships that these families are facing.”
Those helping during the afternoon session also got an opportunity to see how everything came down and how much organization it takes to put together an event like this. Toys were boxed up to be donated to other organizations nearby. Holiday decorations packed up. Shelving units taken apart and stored for next year.
Kings Wong, VP Operations, summed it up best: “UGM fills an important need in the neighborhood where families work hard through the year to make ends meet but still cannot necessary provide gifts. It was a very fulfilling experience to be able to help these families bring some cheer into their homes.”