What Can I Do?? - Cherryville,MO

Updated on December 14, 2011
S.J. asks from Cherryville, MO
21 answers

Thank you all for the wonderful ideas! I think we have it figured out!

And I am deleting the question because I absolutely hate references to my work (even though of course I didn't use names) out on cyberspace. I work for an amazing company and appreciate their need for discretion and privacy. Merry Christmas!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

People generally need to be asked face-to-face for the best results. Sometimes it seems that generosity is directly proportional to the shame of saying "no" to someone's face. Suggest that the coordinator asks each worker personally, face-to-face!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If the company takes on the responsibility they have an obligation to buy everything for this family. So if the donations do not add up the company has to pay out for it. It is a company project or it isn't. If it isn't I would let my choice be known as to whether you want to continue the practice or not.

This family should not suffer due to the economy or the lack of compassion from the workers around you.

I hope they are well taken care of.

We also did the casual day throughout the year and the $2-$5 went in a savings account. We also did cotton candy sales with popcorn and some other things throughout the year where the cost was minimal and the proceeds went in the account. It really helped to make the money add up without being too much out of pocket when all I want to do in December is buy for my family.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

I organized the adoption for a place I used to work for. What I found was effective is having a tree for the family. We all decorated it and it was in an area that was not in the way of foot traffic but was seen by all that came through the office.

As everyone brought stuff in it was wrapped and placed under the tree. That way everyone working knew where we were in contributions but so did our customers. You would not believe how generous people get if there is a chance the clients may think them cheap. :p

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Not quite the same thing, but our church adopted a family (a single mom with disabilities and 3 young children) a few years ago. I was in charge of the collection, etc (though I did not choose the family) and we were a smallish congregation (under 100 people total, including a lot of children). What I did was similar to what JoW mentioned. I put up a small Xmas tree on a table in the fellowship hall (but visible to everyone who came in) and made "tags" to hang on the tree. Sort of like you see the "Angel Tree"s in various places. Each tag listed a specific item that the child had asked for or their mom had asked for for them. For example: " 7 yrs, girl, sweater, size 8". Or "Boy, age 9, toy, likes: legos, drawing and dragons" . I made a lot of tags and hung them on the tree, and put a little sign in front explaining what to do (take the tag, bring wrapped gift with child's name or boy/girl age on it and place under the tree), then in the church bulletin there was mention of what the tree was and how to participate as well.
We had about 3 weeks of "collecting" and the response was phenomenal. I even bought inexpensive stockings for the kids and provided bags of "loot" and misc small items for the mom to put inside "from Santa". And even though Mom didn't ask for anything for herself, the person who helped pick the family knew mom needed a few things for the household and mom was added to the tree and got silverware and some body lotion type stuff as well.

The entire table (and underneath) was covered. The woman needed help to get it all home!

Just put out a tree with the tags (that will take some work to prepare the tags, and the more info you have the better) and a brief explanation, and hopefully people will grab a tag as they walk by.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

This is tough. I think its the responsibility of the person who picked the family to make this happen. Its not your responsibility. Give what you can.

Also: if your dress code is business or business casual, you could have a "Jeans Day" and charge people $5 to wear jeans, and use that money for the family. Or sell candy canes for $2 to raise money. You could see if the firm would buy pizza for everyone and charge $5 to attend. Or what about a 50/50 raffle? I don't know if the boss would agree to anything, but if he/she is a good sport, you could raffle off a lunch or other kind of thing that people might enjoy.

Sometimes if you get people more involved in a fun way, they'll be more likely to spend their money. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I totally agree - how could you not feel badly about this situation. I have found that if the "right" person of authority is not the coordnator, folks are not willing to pitch in.
IF (if) possible to encourage coordinator to have "the boss" call an impromptu meeting to spell out the situation - that is about all that can be done.
People may also feel "gived out" if, as you said, they all give in their own way, this may really need to be thought through for next year. ALSO, even a family of six, they may only be expecing one or two things on their list this year, if anything, just saying that if we are thinking of what we do for our kiddos, these kiddos may have different level of expectations and gratitidue for what is done and not what wasn't done.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

If you are not the one who coordinated it then I would make your donation and be done. Let the coordinator worry about getting enough gifts. This is kind of harsh, but she/he took on that responsibility when they offered to bet he coordinator.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If it's a large coroporation and they are adopting the family, and people aren't donating enough, the corporation should front the cost to provide what they normally do, and go from there. Maybe not do it next year? It's very sad to think of 6 kids not getting anything for Christmas. Even one toy per kid would be at a minimum just over $100....but I'm sure a few people in the office could come up with that, right?

I think it's a great idea and just wasn't planned early enough, maybe? This time of year is so busy. I hope everyone can get it together.

To help? Maybe go around and specifically ask the people who are supposed to be giving if they have given or are planning on it? Tell them you are going out to get the things (even if it's not YOU) and you know to know how much to get?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Can you just collect all the money that you are given and buy one big gift certificate to Fred Meyer (Kroger) or the grocery store? I know it's kind of lame, but when my family was poor and an adopted family it was GREAT when we got a grocery store gift card. I know it's about the kids and they have a lot, so that's why I was thinking Fred Meyer...it's grocery and shopping.
Also, since there are only 20 or so people working, have they been discussions face to face or just email?
I would maybe email the assistant to the CEO and let her know that you are doing your best but there is not as much contribution this year and see if she has any suggestions.
Wanted to add....I understand that you feel bad...I am wondering if there are people at your company that are feeling bad too because they just don't have the money to help? I know that a couple of years ago we adopted a family with some friends and were able to give the woman a great Christmas, but this year I can barely afford to get my kids something. Maybe the economy is affecting your coworkers?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Does your company have a marketing or PR person whom you could approach? It's going to look bad for the business if this family is given short shrift. If not marketing, how about human resources?

I would focus on making sure the company fulfills its obligation (via whomever deals with the public). Perhaps copy the president (depending on the situation of course).

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I'd consider using incentives to get everyone excited. The "Door Fee" for the Christmas party should be something for the adopted family (or you can't get in!)...

Or maybe if you bring in a food item from the menu (there should be a menu to check off so as to avoid buying unnecessary stuff or duplicates), you get to go home an hour early in the afternoon or come in an hour late.

Be creative...I'm sure there's a way they can be persuaded!

ETA: Pssst! Laura...there is not "Fred Meyer" in Missouri. That's a West Coast thing.

But Walmart would be a good alternative.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Just going off the answers (so you may very well have already cover this).. I wanted to pipe in very quickly:

My husband's company people typically make 6 figure salaries. 2 years they have "asked" for donations for needy families... but they REALLY forgot that some of their employees might BE needy families.

The first year... my husband (and several others, admin, etc.) were only making 40k through the company. 30k of that was going to his tuition, my tuition, and daycare/preschool. Well, in the first place 40k is below the poverty line in our area... and with 2 fulltime students... our food budget for the week was less than what they were "asking" for. Even at 40k, none of the employees at that level were making ends meet. But since most people made signigifcant money they sort of 'forgot' about those that weren't. We didn't EAT FOR A WEEK (well, my husband ate at the work buffet... but my son had oatmeal 3x a day for a week, and I had ramen twice that week) in order to "provide for the NEEDY family". We were far from the only people in that position. I was sobbing with some of the other wives over how much their "paltry minimum" was crippling us, and over the holidays to boot!!! And not all were low income. One of my friends' mother had early onset alzeheimers. 9,000 per MONTH they were paying for her care... because her mom didn't have long term care insurance.

For some people "tight" is fewer presents, or a less expensive (or skipping) vacation. For others... they're in bankruptcy, have kids (or themselves) with medical bills, are trying not to lose their homes, are in the middle of a divorce, have a parent who has become their dependent.... the list goes on.

There is HUGE pressure at work to 'donate' in order to 'look good' / move up the ladder. "The price of business" and "How one gets ahead".

If you start pressuring people... KNOW that that will mean that it WILL HURT some of your employees families.

In my less than humble opinion... when a COMPANY takes on a needy family, they have an obligation to that family. Not their own employees. They don't know their employees personal business, and smart operators don't bring in their money woes (because it limits advancement). The COMPANY needs to step up and pay for what they agreed to.

Pressuring employees means you WILL be ruining some of your coworkers xmas's. Because put under pressure, they WILL donate, even when it starves their own family.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from McAllen on

fund raising???
Idk if you have the time, but a brownie & coffee sale @ the office, or desserts??

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

K, here is what you do: set up a meeting w/ your co-workers...send them an Outlook meeting invite and book a confernece room...this way, EVERYONE is all in one place and you can get some sort of commitment from everyone...face to face. Schedule another meeting next week, get progress/gather the gifts, etc...bada boom, problem solved.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Do you all ask for a certain amount? Like $20 or $25. contribution form each person?

How about speaking with the "big Boss" about this. Maybe she can send out the next request and reminding the employees that this company believes in supporting the community and those less fortunate or saying she is going to match a certain percentage or start off the donation with a certain amount?

I know times are tough, but even we are giving the same amount and doing with a little less. We live a very charmed and blessed life, we do not need as much as others.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

This year we did not particpate in the school adopt a family like we have done in years past. This year I am heavly involved in the Girl Scouts Holiday Mart (which is for the families in our school district)...I have donated over $100 of new items and countless items gently used. You just never know what others are doing outside of the office and to expect them to participate is not professional in my opinion.

As far as donations...has the company said anything about what they will do if there is not enough for the family? I know my previous employers would take a collection of cash from employees who wanted to help but didn't want to shop...then they would match the amount collected. Then someone would go do all the shopping.

Making people feel guilty for not participating is not the spirit I think you and the company are looking to project. You can't take this on by yourself...that is just too much to ask for.

I'm sorry they aren't participating but really you can't force them, and they can't force you to feel so guilty into going out and buying everything yourself. Please don't let them do that to you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

It's not your job to make sure everything on the list is accounted for.. therefore, simply sign up and purchase a gift for one of the kids and your deed is done. Why did you decide it is your job to make sure the list is completed?? let the CEO's assistant figure it out.. Tis the season to not be co-dependent .... it's great to think of others... but allow the person who is supposedly in charge to be in charge... take a step back.. relax... buy your gift.... send your blessings.... and get back to work :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi Scartlett,
That's a tough one...Sounds like the CEO's asst or the CEO themselves needs to step up and verbally tell everyone...hey I know times are tought and we've all tightened the purse strings but we all need to pitch in and help those who are less fortunate... and so on and so forth.

If I were you contribute what you can and review the list and get the necessisties. I know some of those lists contain "wish" items of the family like Xbox or jewelry etc...Avoid that and make sure coats, blankets, jeans etc are the priority.

Best wishes..I sure hope everyone rallies around even if it is last minute to put someone else's needs above their own.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Of course you feel badly and it's nice of you to get involved. I assume you're sure there's not enough money. Does the CEO's assistant have any accountability? ie: does the CEO find out if not much is bought for this family? I would also go directly to the CEO's assistant and ask her what her plan is. If you don't get a good answer, do you also report to the CEO? If so, I'd say somethign to him directly. If not, I'd say something to your boss so perhaps this can get pushed up the chain. To be honest, people at the top likely can afford to step in and fund any shortfall. I know that's how it would work at my company. And then it has to be reexamined if this will be done again next year. Everyone has to be onboard bc it's obviously not fair to the family. Same time, it's not fair for people to be expected to contribute if they can't afford to. I hope it works out!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

At this time of year, everyone is so busy that I'm thinking it may have just slipped off the radar for some people. Do you have a record of who has given in past years? I agree that it often takes a face-to-face solicitation to get results - which could be a simple "pass the basket" type thing. Perhaps you need to talk to the coordinator to get ideas.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

First - thank you for wanting to step up to the plate - while others are not.

I get your concern. There isn't much time left AT ALL. Money and items should have already been collected, and wrapped. Maybe even given to the family. Christmas is the weekend after this one! I'm sure the staff will be out next Friday or reduced hours. So, that leaves 2 1/2 days this week and 4 days next week if you go to the LAST minute. UGH!

Contact the leader in charge (who sucks at it) and ask if you can take over and find out what she knows. Then talk to the CEO about taking over and where you are on the money/item collections. Ask for the remaining amount of money needed by Friday.

Ask another co-worker that you trust to help you purchase the items left. Bring them in next Monday. Set-up a conference room and set-up the wrapping paper station and ask those that didn't contribute financially to help wrap. Deliver the items on Thursday or Friday.

GOOD LUCK! And thank you!

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions