Leaving a Mark on the 2018 Holiday Season

By: Kyle Cronin

The holiday season is a time for celebrating the year that was, spending time with loved ones and of course, crossing off those lengthy wish lists.

With so much going on, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and forget how important it is to think about those who may not be expecting much under their tree. But doing just a little bit can have a big impact. For the past 18 years, Identity has been fortunate enough to partner with several amazing organizations that make it their mission to provide for local families during the holidays.

Supporting THAW’s Mission

In a post published earlier this year, Identity President Mark Winter highlighted his appointment to the board of The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), a nonprofit organization providing utility assistance for Michigan residents in need.

To help support this great organization, members of the Identity team were among the first to man the phones during THAW’s 2018 Gift of Warmth Telethon in November.

The Identity team supports THAW during the Gift of Warmth Telethon

According to WDIV, the telethon represented the finale of THAW’s Week of Warmth Campaign to raise $1 million statewide. Here is a snippet from their story:

Michigan winters are unpredictable – they can be bitterly cold and blustery, or mild and damp – but the reality of families, children and seniors who struggle to pay their utility bills does not fluctuate with the weather.

Each year, thousands of Michigan households are unable to pay their energy bills, and face the possibility of having their lights and heat turned off. A home without heat or electricity can be unbearable, even in above-freezing temperatures.

Nearly 70 percent of households assisted by THAW include a child or senior. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the dangers associated with living without electricity and heat, especially when they have medical conditions that require constant monitoring. THAW works tirelessly – in any weather – to provide energy assistance that keeps families healthy and safe.

The Identity team worked multiple shifts throughout the morning and afternoon, helping to take phone calls from generous donors.

The Identity Giving Tree

Over the last four years, we’ve worked with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and have been given the opportunity to shop for some great families, making sure they have what they need and want this holiday season.

New this year, Identity rolled out a charity-match initiative for employees, which provides a match for any donation made to charity. Many took advantage of the offer, which allowed even more gifts to be purchased.

Every November, the “giving tree” appears in our office, decked with the names of our families and what they’re wishing for. Our team snagged their tags and within a few hours, everything was claimed.

Then comes the exciting part, shopping! Some requests included the latest toys, as well as necessities like clothing, coats and household items. Several of our employees credit their own childhood experiences for influencing the toy they bought, making sure these kids get toys that we would have enjoyed when we were young.

Last, but certainly not least, is our wrapping party. Aptly named, the gathering is not only a time to come together and make our gifts look pretty, but a time to reflect on the year at Identity as the close to the year quickly approaches.

With a spread of holiday treats, plenty of spiced wine to go around and holiday music to fill the room, our whole team puts the perfect bow on this great company-wide tradition. This year, everyone was encouraged to wear an ugly Christmas sweater and our employees did not disappoint.

Whether it’s providing a pair of cozy gloves, making a donation to charity, volunteering at a shelter or checking in on an elderly neighbor, there are countless ways to spread happiness and make the holiday season a little brighter.

Identity’s year-long commitment to giving back is apart of who we are and how we operate. As we turn into the new year, we reflect on how fortunate we are to serve and look forward to what we have planned in 2019.

What’s your favorite part of the season and what has your company done to spread holiday cheer this year or in the past? Let us know in the comments below!

This post was co-authored by Matt McCready.