The Reason for the Season

Last week, our Nashville office had the opportunity to volunteer at the Salvation Army warehouse. We had no idea what we would be doing, and upon arrival learned that we would be “shopping” for the Forgotten Angels. Are you familiar with the Angel Tree program? Families that cannot afford to purchase gifts for their children can register their kids for the Angel Tree. A form that lists their clothing sizes, “want,” and “need” items is then placed on a tree in a mall for passerby to select, shop for, and then bring the gifts to the Salvation Army warehouse. Although it is a wonderful program that benefits numerous families around the country each year, there are holes in it. Unselected forms that are left on the trees signify the “Forgotten Angels” – kids that will not receive any Christmas gifts if left as is.

Our job at the warehouse was to take a Forgotten Angel form, and get the child his “needs,” and 2 medium sized toys or “wants” from a large selection of donated goodies in the middle of the warehouse. We put the gifts for each child into a large sack, reminiscent of Santa Claus (ho, ho, ho), and sorted them by family to be delivered.  I was not expecting to become so easily attached to these faceless forms, but seeing items like “coat, shoes, undergarments, baby wipes, and diapers” listed as “needs” was incredibly sobering. It was so special to see my coworkers working together to find the best possible gifts for their Angels. While we will never know for sure, I like to imagine that the faces of our Angels will light up on Christmas morning when they see presents waiting for them under the tree. The part that we played was so trivial in the grand scheme of things, but it feels great to know that we made a small difference for these kids. As heart-wrenching as it is to think that the biggest concern for some of these children is where their next meal will come from, the fact that they will get to escape from reality for even a moment to unwrap their gifts and feel the joy of Christmas is what our volunteer experience was all about. That thought brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye each time I think about it – how lucky are we that we had the chance to help these nameless Angels?

While we were working to give to the Forgotten Angels, they inadvertently also gave to us. Volunteering with Salvation Army was a great reminder of the reason for the season – spending time with people you care about, and helping others. Collectively, we have been so very blessed this year at Conexess, and want to say a heartfelt “thank you” to those of you who been part of our journey throughout 2014. We wish you Happy Holidays, and all the best in the New Year. We also encourage you to consider volunteering this holiday season – here are a few links to get you started in the Nashville area:

http://www.hon.org/

http://www.paradisedivision.org/Nashville

http://secondharvestmidtn.org/

Conexess for a Cause

Conexess for a Cause is a new undertaking that we are really excited about, here at Conexess. In an effort to be more focused on giving back to the local community, we started the Conexess for a Cause campaign several months ago, with the goal of raising $7,500 by December 31st. That money will go toward sponsoring the wish of a child with a life-threatening illness. The Middle Tennessee chapter of Make*A*Wish has partnered with us to help turn a child’s dream into reality with our $7,500 pledge. 

If you are unfamiliar with the Make*A*Wish foundation, here is a link to their website: http://middletennessee.wish.org/. The Middle Tennessee chapter of Make*A*Wish grants about 100 wishes each year, and has granted over 1150 wishes since the founding of the chapter in 2007. If you would like to be involved in our campaign, more information can be found here. Ever since expressing interest in granting a child’s wish, our experience with our Make*A*Wish representative, Lillian, has been incredibly positive. Below, she summarizes the impact that she sees Make*A*Wish have on kids and their families, and what that has meant to her:

“My work at Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee is one of the most fulfilling jobs I could have ever imagined, as I have the privilege of being the liaison between the sponsor that raises the money to grant a wish, and the wish child – and their family – who is blessed by it. I can’t count how many times a wish family has been overwhelmed with gratitude when they realize that the entire wish experience has been paid in full by the generosity of another, and I am so proud to partner with Conexess through their Conexess For A Cause campaign, to see that happen once more. It is truly the best part of my job, and something that is so powerful to witness in person.”

All of the wishes that Make*A*Wish grants are incredibly special to the child and his/her family, as well as being heartwarming and often tear-inducing to anyone involved. Recently, the Middle Tennessee Chapter of Make*A*Wish granted a wish for a little girl named Caroline. The wish was unique because a previous wish kid helped to grant Caroline’s wish by “wishing it forward.” Read more about the touching chain of events here.

(williamsonsource.com)

At Conexess, we are so excited to have the opportunity to impact a child’s life with the gift of granting his/her wish. The Conexess for a Cause campaign is the first experience that we have had with long-term fundraising, and as we are approaching our final months of the campaign, we need your help! Please follow this link for more information about giving to our cause, and helping a child’s wish come true.