There was plenty of TREW spirit to be found this holiday season, as many on the team shared their time and treasure with others in their communities. The diversity of giving is a wonderful illustration of the wide variety of interests, skills and talents on the TREW team.
Here are a few great examples of the TREW spirit in 2010:
For Christmas, Irene and her family crocheted and knitted hats for our overseas soldiers in the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force through The Ships Project. Since 2001, the Ships Project has been sending handmade hats, slippers and cool-ties to U.S. military personnel deployed overseas. Many of these brave men and women didn’t get to spend Christmas with their families, and Irene and her family wanted to remind them that there are Americans at home thinking of them and thankful for their brave efforts. Here’s a great pic of Irene and family modeling their wonderful gifts:
Morgan’s family has a tradition of giving, and 2010 was her turn to plan out their family holiday service. Morgan is famous for her cooking, so it was not surprising to learn her and her family volunteered for opportunities that involved cooking so that other people could enjoy sharing a meal together with friends and family. Before Christmas, they made Christmas dinners for a few families around Austin, to be delivered alongside friends who had picked up Christmas presents for those families. They then brought this spirit to their family visit to Arizona where, on Christmas day, they spent the afternoon prepping a meal to serve at the local shelter for 60 women and children. I was humbled that the women there were eager to invite us into their circles of friends to eat with them, and to help them package up the leftovers from the meal to give to friends of theirs who were on the streets, waiting for a bed to free up in the shelter.
TREW principals, Rebecca and Wendy, also found opportunities to involve their kids in the spirit of giving. In addition to participating in the giving tree at Church, the Covey children saved part of their allowance to give to charity. They learned a lot about different causes, and had a difficult time choosing which ones were “most worthy” as they all are, of course! In the end, elder Grayson chose to support the Red Cross and their work to provide disaster relief while younger sister Lauren, inspired by learning about Helen Keller at school, wanted to give to children with disabilities and chose to support Any Baby Can.
The Geiers participated in Austin nonprofit LifeWork’s Project Holiday Help program and adopted a wonderful family of 5 lively boys ages 12 to 3 months and their mother. Our favorite part of this effort is working together as a family to plan, organize, wrap, deliver, and assemble the many gifts for our Austin neighbors, and ultimately bring happiness and holiday cheer to another much less fortunate family. In the end, we always find we’re the ones who received the gifts – of giving to others. Here are a few pics from the day:
Just as Irene applied her sewing skills and Morgan found ways to share her gift of cooking, Denise is a fluent spanish speaker and is able to assist healthcare professionals at Austin’s People’s Volunteer Healthcare Clinic, a medical safety net for Austinites who are low-income and uninsured. Every Monday night throughout the year, she volunteers as a Spanish interpreter for doctors, nurses, and nutritionists. Many of the patients are just learning about their condition and are scared and worried, and Denise enjoys helping them feel more comfortable, and making sure they know that someone is always there to translate and explain everything the doctors are saying.
We are so lucky to have such a talented, giving team. It makes TREW much more than a marketing firm, but a family! Happy new year to all!