Every year, just after our team has strung the lobby Christmas tree with golden bulbs and shimmering ribbon, something special starts to happen: plastic bags stuffed with food are placed near the longest, bottom boughs. Over the course of several weeks, the bags and the food pile up, and up until the day we get to drop them off at the local food bank, where they’ll go on to feed less fortunate families.
Westwood’s staff Food Bank collection is one of a handful of community involvement initiatives our industrial electrical company takes part in as the holidays approach, and many of us look forward to this special season of giving back.
“We’re incredibly grateful for all of our successes, and we’re proud to take time as a team give back to the community in meaningful ways during the holiday season, and throughout the year,” says Darryl Chekerda, president, Westwood Electric.
Here is an overview of Westwood’s holiday season community projects:
Adopt a Family
This is a cause we’ve been supporting for four years, and it’s one of the ones we look forward to the most. Organized through the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society (NOYFSS), the Adopt a Family program allows us to gather a great big Christmas package for a local family in need.
Throughout the year we raise money through Father’s Day and Mother’s Day gift basket ticket raffles, and other fundraisers. The money raised is then used to buy toys, clothes, food and other holiday goodies for the family we adopt. Staff also donate like-new items we know the family can use.
“At Westwood, we think of ourselves as one big family, so for us it’s really special to know what we’re doing is bringing joy and smiles to another family,” says Chekerda.
If your organization is interested in the Adopt a Family program next Christmas, you can reach out to Brook Vasconelos at NOYFSS.
The Westwood Electric Christmas party is definitely a highlight of the year for many of us, and one of the reasons is because we all bring gifts that will go on to be unwrapped by excited little fingers all over the city on Christmas morning.
Each team member brings an unwrapped gift that Santa’s Anonymous then matches with the appropriate child in need, and many of us delight in imagining these children playing with their shiny new trucks and dolls.
Westwood is proud to have been taking part in Santa’s Anonymous for more than 20 years.
The Food Bank
It’s always wonderful, at the end of our collection period, to see how much food our team alone can bring in to donate to the local food bank.
Over the course of several weeks, our lobby becomes engulfed in plastic bags and collection boxes containing the kinds of non-perishable goods that will help families keep their bellies full—from nourishing pasta and sauce to canned tuna and peanut butter.
What a great day it is when team members get to drop it all off at the food bank, where we know the food will get to people in need, and make a difference. This is a community involvement project we’ve been doing for more than a decade, and we look forward to many more years of collecting and giving.
At that, we want to thank our team members for all they do to make these important and meaningful fundraising activities happen. The Westwood family is special for so many reasons, and the way we give back is just one of them!
Learn more about how our industrial electrical company gives back to our communities throughout the year on our Community Involvement page.