SmartSimple Shares the Holiday Spirit!

Bright lights, festive music and glittering parties abound at this time of year. But for many families, the holiday season brings more stress than joy. It’s hard to think about buying presents for your children when you’re not sure if you can both pay rent and put food on the table.
 
Fortunately, there are organizations like Holiday Helpers and their Adopt-a-Family program, and once again, SmartSimple is taking part by providing a traditional Christmas to a family in need.

“It’s been such a rewarding experience for us, being able to give an entire family not just presents but the entire holiday experience,” says Sarah Jane Nicholson, Relationship Manager at SmartSimple and coordinator of the Adopt-a-Family initiative. “We get a wish list from the parents for every member of the family, so we know we’re giving them and their children what they really want. It’s so much more personal than just providing the necessities. We get to give the fun stuff too!”

Goodies baked and donated by the SmartSimple bake sale.
Since 1996, Holiday Helpers has been sponsoring low income families in the Greater Toronto Area. They are referred to the program through other not-for-profit partners, and receive a tree and decorations, presents and a gift certificate to purchase groceries for a traditional dinner with all the trimmings. To date, Holiday Helpers have made the season merry and bright for hundreds of families.

 “This year we’ve adopted a family of seven – two adults and five children. One of the kids has special needs, so some extra care was required in purchasing their gifts,” continues Sarah.

To ensure there was enough money to provide everything the family wanted and needed, Sarah Jane set a very ambitious fundraising goal of $1,500. “Holiday Helpers suggests a budget of about $100 per person, but I wanted to be able to spend a bit more and get as many of the items on the family wish list as possible,” she adds.

The whole SmartSimple team got on board to help. “Everyone was so generous with donations! We also held a couple of draws for various items – including an extra vacation day – and a huge bake sale at the Toronto office with all the goodies prepared by our staff,” says Sarah.
Just some of the gifts purchased for our adopted family!

With the funds in hand, it was time to go shopping! “I found it so rewarding to go and buy gifts for our adopted family, and everyone in the office was excited to watch the piles of presents grow!” says Sarah. All the parcels were then handed off to Holiday Helper volunteers to deliver in time for Christmas. “It’s such a rewarding feeling,” concludes Sarah, “knowing we’ve given a family who would normally be unable to enjoy the season, not just gifts, but the entire festive experience.”

You can learn all about Holiday Helpers and their Adopt-a-Family initiative on their website.

From everyone here at SmartSimple, a happy, healthy and joyous holiday season to you and yours! Be sure to keep an eye on our website and blog for upcoming webinars, events and upgrades in 2015.

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