It’s officially winter in Wisconsin and the perfect season to settle in with your favorite book and cup of hot chocolate. While some of us have a cozy blanket and slippers to add to our holiday cheer, the Bassett Mechanical family is well aware that not everyone in our community is as fortunate. For those down on their luck, even the necessities can be difficult to provide.
Bassett Mechanical has an annual Adopt-A-Family tradition that gives associates the opportunity to donate gifts, groceries, clothing, and other necessities to local families in need. Each year the company reaches out to find 2 to 4 families that could use a little extra help during the holiday season and coordinates with them a list of items needed. Families are anonymous and remain so throughout the course of the program.
“It really puts things in perspective,” says Danielle Spigarelli, Sr. HR Generalist and supporter of Bassett’s Adopt-A-Family program, “when you see children asking for coats and hats instead of gaming systems and toys. It reminds you not to take things for granted. Some participants in the program even take their own children shopping for these items to get them involved and help them understand that sometimes families go through hard times and aren’t able to get gifts or even daily necessities on their own.”
Items given to support these families include gift cards for local grocery stores or restaurants, gas cards, coats, hats, mittens, boots, toiletries, pajamas, towels, shoes and clothes, and usually a special “wish list” item for each of the family members including a few small toys or books to help brighten the Christmas of especially the children during this time of year. Small tags are made with each item needed and hung in Bassett’s front lobby. Associates review these and are able to choose which items they are willing to purchase and donate.
While participation is in no way mandatory, Bassett associates are quick to jump on board. “Bassett people are the most heartwarming when it comes to giving to a family in need”, says Lisa Ebben, Administrative Assistant and longtime coordinator of Bassett’s Adopt-A-Family Program. Spigarelli notes “we are always so shocked by how generous our associates are and how much we are able to gather. And if there are a few tags remaining when the deadline arises, it never fails, we always have people who step up to make sure we gather all the items we are aiming for so those families are well taken care of”.
As we reflect this season on all the gifts we’ve been given, we are also thankful for the caring people around us willing to help those who haven’t been as fortunate. Bassett is especially proud of its compassionate culture and the willingness of its associates to give generously to this and many other community giving programs held throughout the year.