The holiday season is primetime for networking…and giving.
Maria Pelaggi: In business development at Tocci, I have lots of opportunities to greet and gather. Each year I attend the traditional holiday galas and get togethers- however this year a new tradition was born. Instead of meeting over lunch or dinner, a group of us in the real estate industry decided to spend a night together giving back. We teamed up with United Way to throw a holiday celebration for the families at The Saint Ambrose Shelter. The shelter provides advocacy, counseling, meals, and clothing to 12 local families.
After decorating the shelter with holiday cheer and building gingerbread houses for each family, we brought in the kids to get the party started. Together we shared dinner and created holiday crafts. Craft stations included decorating gingerbread houses, creating cotton ball snowmen, creating snowflakes as well as paint sample ornaments.
The night concluded with presents and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Each volunteer had signed up to sponsor a family by providing wrapped educational presents from Santa. The children were thrilled by their surprise celebration, and the volunteers left feeling good about a night well spent.
The holidays can be a tough time for the less fortunate; however, they can also be a time of great giving. For me they are a time to remember and appreciate everything I’ve built- especially the relationships I’ve been able to create in the past six years in this industry. I feel very fortunate that my role in business development provides me opportunities to not only network, but also do some good for the community. This was a great time to help spread some joy and celebrate this holiday season with these families as well as with my peers!