Spreading the WhirlWind Cheer

whirlwindcheer

For our latest philanthropy project at the end of the year, we decided to include the entire company. This is a time of year that calls for gratitude, reflection and generosity to those less fortunate than us. We set up collection boxes at different locations, and gave our WhirlWind techies an option to donate toys for the Toys for Tots program. We collected and donated over 150 toys this year!

Toys for Tots is a program run by the US Marine Corps Reserve that distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. “When you donate to Marine Toys for Tots you are helping to bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children.” is their tagline and their impact is felt in homes all over America. Founded in 1947, the Toys for Tots program has delivered 548 million toys, supporting 251 million children to date.

And the difference is felt. Cindy, a gift recipient from California, shared a heart moving story of her memories.  “Toys for Tots was the only reason I received a gift for Christmas each year as a child. I remember my dad waiting in line the whole day in order for me and my siblings to have something to open on Christmas. I have such great memories thanks to this program. Thank you to everyone who donates to this great cause.”

The impact of working collectively to help others can not be overstated. As reiterated by a community organizer in Georgia, “…The Toys for Tots Program is a blessing for the community we serve. We have had families tell us that they would not have had anything under the tree if it was not for this program. There is so much work to do, but as long as we take a piece and someone else does the same, eventually we can reach as many needs as possible.”

Thank you to all the WhirlWind techies that contributed! With this project we want to emphasize we can all embrace WhirlWind’s purpose to empower others. Our core values include #Have the mindset of an entrepreneur (Empower) and #Take the Initiative (Commitment) and together we will work to empower as many people as possible!

The best gifts are sometimes the unexpected ones! What is your best (or most unexpected) gift to date?

Have a Great School Year: By WhirlWind

Oakland project

“What is your favorite humanitarian effort?” I posed this question during our Monthly Leadership & Management meeting in August. I wanted to get a sense of what was important to our leaders at WhirlWind Technologies, and to vote on our next philanthropy project. The answers ranged from mental health advocacy to global relief,  but what seemed to resonate the most is the topic of youth and education and helping under served communities.

The timing of the discussion coincided with the beginning of the 2018 school year. By the end of the discussion, we voted to donate school supplies to children in need. We picked Oaklands Elementary School, in Laurel Maryland, because it is a Title I school. Title I is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA)  which supports schools with large concentrations of low-income students in meeting its students’ educational goals.

Eight students in total were selected, a boy and a girl from 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade and 5th grade respectively. The classrooms we chose were also being taught by new teachers to the school, and we hoped equipping the students in their classrooms would also ease the teacher’s experience.

Being a mom with a school age child, this cause is close to my heart. I took my son to go shopping for supplies at Walmart. We printed the Prince George’s county school system list of suggested school supplies and spent the day selecting the book bags and supplies, while discussing our civic responsibility and the importance of lending a hand to people who are struggling in our community.

A little goes a long way too, as we heard back from Candice Nicholson, the 2nd grade teacher “Since I work at a Title 1 school, kids always need supplies that their parents can’t afford. Well, WhirlWind saved the day, when I was able to give supplies to not one, but two students.”  

Meanwhile, Taylor Mcleod, the 3rd grade teacher spoke from a new teacher’s perspective, “This is my first year of teaching. I had no idea how hard teaching is. I didn’t know that all parents don’t buy their kids school supplies. That made me sad because I can’t afford school supplies for all the students in my class. Thank you WhirlWind, for taking some of that stress away from this first year teacher.”

“Thank you, WhirlWind, for supporting the needs of our students,”  Jewel Preston, the Principal of the school, added. “ Companies like yours make my job easier.”

I am proud to be part of a company that takes its social responsibility seriously. Our vision includes empowering our community and future leaders. Our purpose is to help people to understand and fulfill their potential, and sometimes that involves removing barriers so they can succeed. In our latest project, we hope giving students the tools they need will free them to focus on the important task at hand: learning.

What’s your favorite philanthropy effort? What does giving mean to you?