Giving back is an inherent part of the Simon Group Holdings culture. In addition to our strong support of the U.S. military and local police, we strive to support organizations that directly impact families and children in need. That is why this year, we began a new tradition of adopting a local family for the holidays through Volunteers of America.

Back in November, we were tasked with choosing a family to adopt among hundreds of applications. It was eye-opening to witness the overwhelming number of local families that are facing financial hardship and are unable to provide their children not only Christmas gifts, but basic necessities such as clothing, bedding and regular household items. Though it was extremely difficult to decide, we finally narrowed it down to a single-parent household with four children.

After organizing a wish list for the family, we spread the word to the rest of the team, encouraging them to join the cause. We set up a giving tree in our Collaboration and Innovation Hub and hung tags listing the requested donation items. In true SGH fashion, our team immediately pulled together to ensure this family would have the best Christmas ever. Within weeks, our team members individually donated all the items on the wish list. Many team members supported the initiative by volunteering to help wrap presents, shop for items and deliver the gifts to the family.

When we arrived at their home with the gifts, the family was overwhelmed by our team’s generosity and compassion. An experience like this really puts things into perspective for those of us who are fortunate enough to have the means to life’s basic necessities. Our team demonstrated the true meaning of Christmas, and we look forward to continuing this new tradition year after year.

To learn how you can support Volunteers of America’s adopt-a-family program, visit their website.