As the days get shorter and colder, holiday excitement is ramping up for BrainStorm PropellerHeads. BrainStorm has a lot of great traditions around this season that make the holidays extra special for the employees and their families.
One of the traditions that has been a cornerstone here for many years is holiday giving. Each year, PropellerHeads are given $100 in early November to donate to a cause of their choosing sometime during the holiday season. Then, when we gather together for our annual review meetings in December, we set aside time to go around and everyone tells the story of what they did with the money. Over the years we have been inspired by the amazing stories we have heard of what people can do with just $100 dollars. We hope you’ll enjoy a few of our favorites from 2014 and be inspired to give back this holiday season too.
Did you know that government support, like the Food Stamp Program and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) does not cover the cost of diapers? Most of us at BrainStorm had no idea. In poor and low-income families, a baby can spend a day or longer in one diaper, leading to potential health and abuse risks. Last year, one of our PropellerHeads started with her $100 (about the cost of one month supply of diapers) and rallied her whole community to donate diapers to their local diaper bank. With the help of her neighbors they collected over 2,500 diapers and nearly 3,000 wipes! Most states have diaper banks, like this one in Utah, if you think this could be a good way to give back.
Winter Coats for Children
Many of BrainStorm’s employees volunteer weekly at a local elementary school, assisting teachers and tutoring students. Last year, one employee noticed that many of the kids didn’t have adequate winter wear. In fact, some even huddled over an exhaust vent outside to stay warm. He organized a group of BrainStorm volunteers to pool their money together to purchase winter coats and boots. With the support of the school’s administration, they identified these kids and donated the clothing to them.
Give to a Worthy Charity
Many of the PropellerHeads simply donate to their favorite charity. One PropellerHead matched the $100 from BrainStorm and then got her friends, families, and even business partners to all contribute. Together they raised thousands of dollars for a charity they chose. Last year we had PropellerHeads donate to organizations like the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Huntsman Cancer Institute, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and many more.
Giving Doesn’t Have to be Grandiose
We’re inspired by the amazing things people do with the Holiday $100, but many of the most touching experiences are anonymous and simple. It could be paying for the groceries of the person in front of you in line, leaving a holiday feast on the door of a neighbor you know recently lost their job, or even just giving the money to a needy family. And holiday giving doesn’t need to even require any money. Some of the most meaningful and impactful giving you can do is to give your time. Volunteering at a soup kitchen, helping an elderly neighbor decorate for the holidays, preparing a meal for a family in need are all ideas that are low cost and still impact people around you.
We hope you have a joyful holiday season and that this inspires you to be more aware of opportunities to lift those around you. Even it’s just a warm hug or a smile, you can bring light to the longest nights of the year.