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The Gifts of Giving

Chase Bank, Holiday Giving Tree, Easter Seals

Easter Seals wants to thank Chase Bank, Assurant Health and the Retirees of Harley Davidson for their involvement in this year’s Holiday Giving Tree. Easter Seals was the recipient of 150 gifts that will be distributed to children and adults with disabilities.

In its 26th year, the Volunteer Center’s Holiday Giving Tree acts as a large-scale Secret Santa program.  Over 13,000 people, served by 100 different Milwaukee nonprofit organizations will receive a gift this year through the generosity of participating corporations.  These gifts are selected specifically for each person and represent the caring that our community provides though giving and volunteering.

My Chase Bank Holiday Giving Tree experience:

The Commitment
My tale begins with the recent “Gift Pick Up” at Chase Bank. 
In addition to  working  with 200 fantastic, life-changing individuals at Easter Seal, I have the great fortune to meet people on a daily basis that are truly excited and driven to help others

This past week I met people who fill that description at Chase Bank. They embody a spirit of change and philanthropy by giving back to the community. Chase does this through several initiatives including their employee giving campaign, volunteerism, and participating in the Volunteer Center’s Holiday Giving Tree Program

Last year Chase Bank employees participated by donating 100 gifts.  This year, they committed to 250 gifts.  The astonishing thing is that it did not take long for  all 250 tags to be matched with the Chase employees.  A Chase employees set a record and  all tags were happily matched by 1:30PM the first day they were made available !

The Pick Up Experience
Last Friday was the official pick up time for all non-profits matched with Chase to pick up their Giving Tree Gifts.  This pick up day was not like any other that I had previously experienced.  This day was a celebration filled with festive Christmas décor, yummy hot chocolate (with a side bowl of marshmallows), , cookies, and cheerful Chase Bank employees complete with an impressive conference table covered by 250 beautifully wrapped gifts. 

As I took off my coat I was eagerly greeted by several Chase employees.  I was struck by one employee’s enthusiasm to meet and speak with us, and  I soon knew why.  He had been matched with a 70 year old man from our Adult Day program.  He was eager to hear more about our programs and services and attentively listened to all that we had to say (did I mention I tend to talk a lot?).  He asked questions and then shared with me that that he had so much fun shopping for and purchasing every gift that was on our client’s list. 

Reflections
We loaded my “sleigh” with the presents and I felt a bit like Santa at that moment as I drove back to my office.  I vividly remember reflecting on the moving experience I had at Chase Bank.  I was inspired by the individuals whom I met that participated in the gift of giving.  Clearly their motivation to participate was because they believed that giving is better than receiving.   The spirit of true giving is exemplified each year by many community programs, like the Holiday Giving Tree.  The act of genuine kindness, enthusiasm, and commitment of helping make the holidays great for individuals less fortunate in our community is what the holidays are all about.

On behalf of Easter Seals and the 10,000 individuals that we serve each year we want to thank you for all your support this year and hope that you and your family have a joyous Holiday Season.

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