Team One Atlanta continues to build upon its partnership with the Atlanta Children’s Shelter by making the holidays a special time for the shelter’s homeless children and families. This year’s Holiday House event created a place for parents to “shop” free of charge for warm clothing, gifts for their children, and family necessities. Volunteers provided support during event week by receiving, sorting and staging donated items, greeting guests and families, and escorting families through the Holiday House shopping experience.
Working closely with the children shelter’s new Executive Director, Christie Smith, Team One Atlanta was tasked to decorate the Holiday House, gather in-kind donations and invited to be personal shoppers for the families on their assigned shopping day. We spent two weeks gathering donations and brainstorming for the Gingerbread-themed decorating. On the Monday of the week-long event, the decorating began with gingerbread-man garland, gigantic gift-wrapped presents with Lexus’ iconic “red bow,” a gingerbread wonderland that greeted families in the reception area and a stocking stuffer station.
The shelter’s Board of Directors toured the Holiday House that evening and claimed it was the best-decorated house to-date. They were thoroughly impressed with the creativity and thoughtfulness displayed through the decorations.
Thursday brought the opportunity for Team One associates to participate in the shopping experience with the families. We worked the family check-in station, assigning nametags, shopping bags and shopping guidelines for families. A few associates had the honored task of being a “personal shopper” for the families and spent the fully assigned hour assisting parents with selecting each gift based on their children’s likes, personalities and style. Clothing was also chosen for family members based on their age.
We were inspired by the entire “Holiday House” experience and by our ability to give back to those less fortunate. We look forward to volunteering for next year’s event and making the 2012 holidays a season to remember for all of us.