December 12, 2012
A traditional office holiday party is a nice break from the work routine and gives employees an opportunity to relax and be “merry” with music, dancing, food and good company. And this gives companies an opportunity to thank their employees for a year of hard work, dedication and success. Five years ago, the Deltek employees unanimously decided to retire the traditional holiday event and put down their glasses of nog to instead celebrate and spread the cheer to the very deserving children of Variety- The Children’s Charity. And because of this event, the sense of “team” has never been stronger, not only for the kids, but for everyone at Deltek too.
Let’s back track to 2008, when Sandra Poole, the Facilities Manager of the Deltek office in Woburn, began looking to make the move from a traditional holiday party to a charity event for the office to participate in. She did lots of research- contacted food banks, various organizations, and hospitals as she searched for the perfect match. She found just that after someone from one of the hospitals she spoke with suggested Variety – The Children’s Charity. Variety is an amazing organization, with chapters all over the country, that works with schools, hospitals, and other organizations to bring health and happiness to children in need. Variety is deeply associated with the movie industry, so Deltek gets the opportunity to host a Christmas party at a local movie theater for the children of the Boston area chapter. They get to enjoy lunch, a movie, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, balloon animals, gifts… the list goes on and on! This is truly an amazing day for these children. For some, this will be their first trip to the movies, visit with Santa and opening Christmas gifts.
Since that first year, Deltek has worked with Variety to host the biggest and best Christmas party for the kids each year. The work that goes into planning this event is extensive, but it all gets done due to an amazing crew of volunteers. From Deltek employees to the movie theater, to Santa and Mrs. Claus, the photographer, karaoke singer and more, it’s an amazing collective of people working together to make sure each child has a great holiday.
Before the event, Deltek employees go shopping for each child. With close to 300 kids to shop for, that means we were in need of the biggest sleigh in town! The gifts are transported to the theater to be wrapped and sorted.
Preparation also includes ordering food, popping popcorn, organizing entertainment, dazzling up Santa’s spot and making sure each volunteer understands their role for the day. On the day of the party, the kids pull up in buses jumping up and down with excitement. Each Deltek volunteer greets their group and rolls out the red carpet treatment. Santa flies into the parking lot in his Jeep, complete with the license plate “Santa.” He spends quality time with each one of the children, making sure they get a moment to share their hopes with him and receive encouragement to dream big for the holiday and beyond.
The kids anxiously awaiting their special moment with Santa get to listen to holiday music, watch Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer and receive a magical balloon animal from none other than Mrs. Claus. This year the lucky kids watched the feature film Rise of the Guardians. The theme of the movie was very fitting, giving these children belief in believing. It ended with an uproar of claps and smiles from the audience.
Last year after the event there was money left over which was going to be used for a small, intimate thank you for all of the employees. That never happened. Every employee voted to donate that money instead of using it for themselves. The money was purposely held until March and then donated to a local food bank. You see, after the holidays are well behind us, charities struggle to get the same holiday spirit and donations flowing, so Deltek wanted to help when it was difficult to find help. The money that would have purchased wine, cheese and crackers for the Deltek staff, ended up feeding close to 8,000 people in Massachusetts. Pretty incredible! And we plan on repeating that this year.
We were honored to be a part of such a magical and inspiring event. We don’t think these children realize that they gave us all a gift today as well, and one that we will never forget. If your company is looking for a new idea for a holiday party…think non-traditional, you may find that it just might be the most memorable party of all!
Thank you to Deltek & Variety for a great holiday event!
Allison & Katie (The Kona Elves)