I don’t know many people who are super thrilled about the year that is 2020. It has been challenging for most of us, and I think we’ll all be glad to see it end.
Certain things are looking up, and there is some positive movement on the horizon. I’m focusing on that future. Still, there are some things that are just a straight-up bummer right now. But, as Elsa says, the past is in the past, and I’m working on letting it go.
Each year around this time, burkeMICHAEL+ begins one of our favorite company traditions, the annual holiday gifting program. It’s a business culture touchpoint, an opportunity to tell clients and partners how much they mean to us. We meet for weeks to determine the best way to demonstrate our appreciation and fondness, coming up with meaningful and clever gifts to celebrate our community. We love dropping off those big, beautiful holiday boxes at businesses, organizations, and firms, conspiring with receptionists like little elves, to deliver and distribute tokens of the season.
This year, things look different. We can’t deliver presents to offices, because no one is there. People are freaked out about coming in, even to pick up a gift. We thought about delivering to people’s homes, but the logistics held us up. Plus, it’s kind of… weird.
So this got us thinking. What’s the best way for us to say our usual thank you, in a year that’s been anything but usual? What do people actually need this year? This season is about giving. So let’s give.
This year, burkeMICHAEL+ is flipping the script. As we’ve spent the last year to come together as a community, protecting one another, we started to think about the people who have been the most affected by Covid-19. Families who, up until March, were doing okay, but today are facing job loss and turning to assistance for the first time. Kids who depended on free meal programs at schools. Moms who are holding it together, but barely, as they make excruciating choices between paying rent and buying food.
Food insecurity should never be an issue in this great nation, and certainly not in times like these. We have the resources and the power to help. So instead of buying presents, we’re funneling our holiday time and resources to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
We’ll be sending messages and information to our community about what we’re doing, and how they can partner with us to support families experiencing food insecurity this holiday season. Traditional gifting will return next year (we can’t help it- we love it so much), and we plan to make this charitable effort a permanent part of our celebration every year moving forward.
We’re not alone in this pivot; many companies are doing the same. If you’re one of them, thank you for your example and commitment. We’re proud to know you.
President + Ringmaster burkeMICHAEL+