Tis the Season for Holiday Giving
Written By: Lauren Mireles, FPQPTM
A core value at Yeske Buie, our team believes in giving our time and talent to our Clients, our local communities, and the Financial Planning profession, in part as an appreciation for all we’ve received individually and as a company. While we are intentional about Giving Big all year round, we find ourselves particularly inspired to give during the holiday season. For the past few years, Elissa and Dave have generously invited the team to select a handful of toys to be donated to local charities. We hope you enjoy the photos and quotes from our team members on this giving tradition.
San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program
According to their website, “The San Francisco Firefighter’s Toy Program is the city’s largest and the nation’s oldest program of its kind. Since 1949, it has evolved from a few firefighters repairing broken toys and bikes for 15 families to, in 2016, 300 firefighters and friends volunteering their time to distribute over 200,000 toys to more than 40,000 disadvantaged children. Dependent solely on donations, the Toy Program places collection barrels at retail establishments, street fairs, Christmas parties and many other functions.” Members of our San Francisco team delivered our donations via a quick trip to the Mills Building Lobby where one of the collection barrels appears year after year. Mila Lavoie, Project Administrator in our San Francisco office, shared the following sentiments about her experience with this year’s toy drive: “I feel so fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to help others who are less fortunate than I. Thank you, Elissa, Dave, Yeske Buie, and all the firefighters who make this toy drive possible!”
Toys for Tots
The Marine Toys for Tots program is dedicated to collecting new unwrapped toys to distribute to children across the country who may not otherwise receive a gift at Christmas. More specifically, the mission of the program is to “bring holiday joy and deliver a message of hope to children.” Since 1947, the program has distributed over 548 million toys to over 250 million children. Collecting and distributing the toys is a collaborative effort as the program depends on local public service departments and businesses to manage the donation process. Our Virginia office team participating in the donation effort by dropping off toys at a local fire station. Last year, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department collected over 11,000 toys thanks to the generosity of the local community; we feel privileged to make a small contribution to this mighty effort.
For Alishia DuBois and Cole DeLucas, participating in Yeske Buie’s holiday giving process was a new experience as they joined the team this June. Reflecting on the experience, Alishia shared, “I am so appreciative to be able to work for a firm that values the gravity of giving back. Imagining the children smiling when they receive these gifts is invaluable.” Cole echoed this sentiment stating, “Being a part of a firm that strongly embodies the true meaning behind giving back to the community is incredible. Selecting and donating a toy for a child in need gave me the opportunity to really imagine the impact we’re having on these kids’ lives and that is a humbling feeling.” And although this is not Yusuf Abugideiri’s first time participating in the toy drive effort, he noted that the impact never seems to fade: “We have so much to be thankful for, and that comes even more clearly into focus around the holidays – I can’t think of a better way to express that gratitude than by trying to brighten a child’s day.”
San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program
According to their website, “The San Francisco Firefighter’s Toy Program is the city’s largest and the nation’s oldest program of its kind. Since 1949, it has evolved from a few firefighters repairing broken toys and bikes for 15 families to, in 2016, 300 firefighters and friends volunteering their time to distribute over 200,000 toys to more than 40,000 disadvantaged children. Dependent solely on donations, the Toy Program places collection barrels at retail establishments, street fairs, Christmas parties and many other functions.” Members of our San Francisco team delivered our donations via a quick trip to the Mills Building Lobby where one of the collection barrels appears year after year. Financial Planning Resident, Ryan Rasmussen, helped hand-deliver the toys to the collection barrel and afterwards, he said of the experience, “It’s fun to imagine the joy my gift will bring to a child who otherwise might not receive a toy during the holiday season.”
The toys donated by the San Francisco team included a Golden State Warriors basketball, Star Wars LEGO set, Play-Doh, a teddy bear, and more. Assistant Financial Planner, Zach Bennedsen, shared the following story when asked why he chose to donate the LEGO set: “I was a kid when the “prequel” Star Wars movies came out, and I remember how big of a deal they were. I also remember how much fun the LEGO Star Wars sets were – my favorite were the starships, so I decided to choose one from the new movies for the toy drive this year.” Dan Tripp, Financial Planning Resident in our San Francisco office, shared a similar, personal story as to why he chose the toys he donated: “I selected a spinner toy because I saw my nephew using one and it seemed to provide him with a lot of joy. I picked the cuddly teddy bear because I think every child should have an opportunity to have a special stuffed animal in their lives.”
Fairfax County Police Department’s “Santa’s Ride” Toy Drive
A long-time tradition in Fairfax County, VA, the Town of Vienna Police Department collected toys for children in local hospitals as part of the “Santa’s Ride” toy drive. According to an article describing the event, “Once again this year, Santa will temporarily trade in his sleigh and reindeer for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and police escort. The deliveries will happen at INOVA Children’s Hospital Child – Life Services Center and the Georgetown Hospital Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Toys not given out during Santa’s visit are left with the Child Life programs at each hospital. Those toys are used throughout the year to provide the children something to keep their mind off being in the hospital.” Inspired by this act of kindness, members of our Vienna, VA team delivered our donations to the Town of Vienna Police Department to be included in this year’s donation. After dropping off the toys, Assistant Financial Planner, Ryan Klemm, shared that the toy drive is meaningful to him because, “it feels good to help ensure that a child is going to receive a present during the holiday season. I remember how special it was receiving gifts Christmas morning and I want to share that feeling with others.”