In the Spirit of Giving: One Company Makes Christmas Brighter for CCAS Youth and Families

It’s early Spring and Martha Pretelt is already thinking about Christmas – she is planning a meeting where she will discuss her company’s charitable priorities for the upcoming year; and CCAS’s Hope for Children Fund, Christmas Program is on her list. 

As the Corporate Social Responsibility Lead, for CAPCO, an international business and technology consultancy firm, planned giving is an important part of Martha’s job.  “We take giving back seriously,” says Martha. “We find it rewarding and impactful.” 

Last year was the third year that employees at CAPCO participated in CCAS’s Hope for Children Fund, Christmas Program. Through a series of auctions, cash donations and with money matched by CAPCO, employees raised more than $15,000 in 2012 for the Christmas Program. 
CAPCO employees support various charities, but Hope for Children’s Christmas Program is the most popular. “We found the experience to be very personal. Being matched with a youth or family and reading their profile gives us the feeling that our giving has a direct impact on the community,” said Martha.

Last year Hope for Children Fund’s Christmas Program was different from previous years – it placed an emphasis on matching CCAS youth and youth parents in the community with donors and providing gifts and gift cards to families served by CCAS.  Through the generosity of donors like CAPCO, the 2012 program supported more than 139 youth and youth parents and 1,146 families. Donor support meant that CCAS youth, youth parents and families had a brighter Christmas. Children, youth and families had gifts to open on Christmas morning and a nutritious Christmas meal on their table.

Martha and her colleague, Iraima Marin, take their gift shopping very seriously. They saved coupons throughout the year and even made a trip across the border to get some of their shopping done.

CAPCO employees are always eager to participate in fundraising activities. “What is beautiful about the Hope for Children Fund Christmas program is that it encourages people to give from their heart,” says Martha.  “While our kids are asking for iPads and Xboxes, there are kids out there asking for boots. I think it is humbling to see how much people struggle. This program has given us a lot to think about. It helps us appreciate our families, co-workers and others even more.”

To Martha and the CAPCO employees this Christmas Program allows them to connect with people they will never meet in a very profound way. “When donors can relate to the stories of those in need, it touches their heart.”