Updated: Jan 3
Learn how our employee-led philanthropy team here at Vancouver Fire and Radius Security celebrated the holidays this Christmas and gave back to youth through our annual Spread The Cheer Campaign.
Spread the Cheer is our annual Community Matters giving campaign that makes a return every Christmas season. Blending fun and giving back are two things that we champion here in our Community Matters team, and our team this year made sure of it through meticulously planned events each week leading up to Christmas. In November, the goal we set together as a team was $9,000 and we thought we were a bit too ambitious at first, but we ended up blowing it out of the "snow" and raised a whopping $21,600 (with the help of our corporate matching program)!
Let's rewind a bit back in time to recap how we pulled off this Christmas miracle 🎄.
In The First Week
Cash Raffles and Live Auctions
During our first week, we kicked off our first fundraisers at the annual holiday party where our team across different offices (e.g Texas, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia) gathered at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Center in downtown Vancouver to celebrate wins altogether as a company. Our Community Matters team didn't want to leave it up to chance and started off strong with a 50-50 raffle which garnered excitement throughout the night. I mean, who doesn't want to win a cash prize? In a 50-50 raffle, the winner receives half the net proceeds of raffle ticket sales while the other half contributes to our $9,000 goal. More and more tickets were being bought at the later half of the night when the pot was sitting at $2,400 ($1,200 winning pot) 👀.
What often goes hand-to-hand with raffles? Live auctions! This jolly season we've had many generous donors who provided us with an assortment of prizes to auction off to everyone. Who better to MC this high-energy portion of the night than our one and only Dave Baxter. From two-night Airbnb's staycations up in Whistler to an iPhone 14 plus donated by Rogers. Not too shabby.
Donut and Bake Sales
Now, can we really call it a fundraiser without doing Krispy Kreme? This is a crowd favorite across the company and certainly goes back to our traditional roots for fundraising, but hey who's complaining? They're delicious and we overheard from one of team members, Sharon, that the calories supposedly just fall through the (donut) hole (and she is absolutely correct). That morning we came in with a little under 30 boxes of these scrumptious donuts and they were all sold out by the afternoon!
For the next event, we hosted a bake sale in one of our conference rooms (which in this case doubled as a dining room). A handful of people brought their best take on a "Christmas-themed dessert" to sell at the event. Who knew we had so many talented and creative bakers in our company???
What we loved most about events that encourage everyone to pitch in (like bake sales) is not only the fact that we can bond over food as a team, but at a higher level, it's a way for our diverse team to express their culture and creativity that they "bring to the table" both at the event as well as to the company as a whole.
In The Second Week
Candy Cane Grams
Candy (cane) grams were next on the event calendar for the second week. It was a great way to tie in special messages with a little treat (we went with candy canes) to send to your favorite co-workers, someone who went out of their way to help you on that last project, or "just because". Those who were in the Vancouver office got them hand-delivered to them with love, while those who resided in another region got them shipped to them. A small contribution for a big statement.
Pledges - Storytelling and honing in our "why's"
It's often daunting to come forward to share stories on what corporate giving means to each individual. During the two week duration, we've had some brave souls come forward and become vulnerable enough to share their firsthand experience and wisdom with the company. Everyone's story is different and it is empathy that has a compelling presence when you've been in someone else's position. It is this commonality that binds people - that binds us to pitch in to help others in need. You can check out these powerful stories here: communitymatters.info/spread-the-cheer
In pledges alone, we've received an overwhelming amount of donations amounting to over $5000.
Keeping the fun in fundraising
Fundraising and the event planning that surrounds it are about more than just raising funds for the cause and we fully support that. That's why it's appropriate to highlight the events that we've also been hosting for fun throughout the two weeks. To celebrate the holidays for the sake of just celebrating the holidays without strings attached.
Some of our personal favorites this season were
Family Ice Skating
Virtual Games Nights
Ugly Sweater with Santa
Christmas Decoration Content In The Office
Corporate Matching Program
Here at Vancouver Fire and Radius Security, we've always maintained an outstanding corporate matching program that meet contributions made by our employees halfway. When it comes to giving back to our community we walk the talk proudly by matching donations at a 1:1. We can confirm, teamwork makes the dream work.
Momentum and Spreading the Cheer into next year
With everyone's persistence, effort, and generosity, we've been able to exceed our $9,000 goal for this years Spread the Cheer campaign almost three-fold. All 100% of funds raised from this campaign will go toward our partner Pacific Community Resources Society. PCRS supports youth to overcome barriers, create positive connections, and become leaders in our community. Learn more about why we chose PCRS and the impact we've had on youths lives this Christmas at: https://pcrs.ca/