On a recent Thursday afternoon, a large group of Prowess’ Seattle employees gathered around a table stacked with gifts, wrapping paper, tape, ribbons, and bows. The room echoed with the sounds of happy chatter and the mouthwatering aroma of eggnog and cookies. For a little more than an hour, the group cut, folded, taped, laughed, and munched, as the floor slowly filled with scrap paper and ribbon shards, until eventually a stack of 27 presents surrounded the office holiday tree.
In other parts of Seattle, more than two dozen seniors waited expectantly to receive their much-needed holiday gifts from Prowess and other companies taking part in an annual fundraising event.
Giving Back to the Community
The gifts came from Prowess team members as part of our holiday Giving Tree campaign. A few weeks ago, Prowess employee Kate Figgis placed gift tags on a holiday tree in the office. Each tag contained a name and an item requested by a senior in need. Employees purchased the requested items and brought them to the office for wrapping and eventual pickup by Sound Generations, the organization sponsoring the campaign.
Each year, Prowess works with a different local organization to provide presents to those in need. Last year, we partnered with the Seattle World School to bring gifts to a diverse group of talented kids from immigrant families struggling to adapt to a new life in Seattle and the US. The Seattle World School has approximately 350 students from 34 countries. All students require bilingual education, and 96 percent qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. But students at the Seattle World School do not have access to the financial resources that other Seattle schools have. Many of the students’ parents don’t live in the US, and those that do don’t work for technology companies that offer matching grants.
Giving Tree campaigns can help supplement the needs of these students by providing essential supplies, clothing, or even non-essential extras that make the students feel at home in Seattle and connected to the community.
Helping Sound Generations Provides Essential Services
This year, Prowess partnered with Sound Generations to bring needed gifts to seniors in the region. Sound Generations is a local organization that connects seniors to vital resources in the Puget Sound area. The organization provides nutritious meals to homebound seniors, transportation to essential services, and general support to the elderly and their caregivers.
During the holiday season, the organization coordinates a holiday Giving Tree campaign to provide gifts and to support the senior community through the winter months. Prowess joined up with Sound Generations this year to provide gifts ranging from grocery-store gift cards to warm winter clothing, a space heater, kitchen essentials, and even some Seahawks gear for some loyal fans.
Several employees also contributed financial donations to help the organization provide meals to homebound elders, serve lunch to large groups at a community dining site, and help cover the costs of escorting seniors to medical appointments.
The campaign had a strong impact on Prowess employees. Prowess web producer, Angelica Street, expressed an enthusiastic response: “I love this idea! I take care of my mom, and just knowing that we’re bringing a smile to someone’s face who is kind of stuck, like she is, makes me so warm and fuzzy!”
Kate was also touched by the cause and felt privileged to help seniors in the community. In particular, she noted how the holidays often focus only on children: “While the holidays are great for our kids, I feel that seniors are often overlooked. These folks are a strong part of our community. Sound Generations’ Giving Tree campaign gives us a way to show our gratitude and respect.”
Help Bring Cheer to a Senior This Holiday Season
Prowess employees are proud to help others in need throughout our community. If you’d like to join us, visit the Sound Generations website to see how you can help by donating time, money, or other resources to others who could use a helping hand. And see this great story on Sound Generations from the December 10, 2017, Seattle Times.