The holidays were much brighter for dozens of children and their families thanks to the generosity of employees at our Austin, Columbus, and Highland offices. Read on for the details.
Four elementary school-aged children had a fantastic holiday thanks to the American Structurepoint Austin office. Our staff shopped for presents from the students’ holiday wish lists, wrapped the gifts, and then experienced the students’ joy and excitement when the children opened the gifts at a luncheon held by the Travis Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. The chapter, of which American Structurepoint Vice President Ricardo Zamarripa is president, hosted 40 students from Ortega Elementary School being recognized for receiving top marks in academics and behavior. One student told Senior Project Engineer April Sandoval before opening his presents that he didn’t receive any presents for a recent birthday. He added it was okay though, because our presents would make up for it.
Sixteen Columbus staffers hit the malls and shopped online to fulfill Christmas wish lists of 20 children ages 18 months to 15 years old submitted to the St. Vincent Family Center’s Adopt A Family program. Employees spent $100 on each child. Project Engineer Karin Ely said their goal was to get 5 to 6 presents per child, so they stretched their money by snagging great deals in cyberspace and at brick and mortar stores alike. Some employees even had to assemble 3 bicycles for the kids. Winter coats and other accessories to keep the kids warm were popular gifts along with toys. Employees delivered more than 100 gifts in 4 carloads to the center. All told, the center provided Christmas presents for 1,040 children.
Employees from the Highland office provided presents for 20 children served by the Lake Ridge Head Start agency in Gary, Indiana. The Head Start program promotes school readiness of children under age 5 from low-income families through education, health, social, and other services. Project Engineer Gina Sessions, the Highland employee spearheading the gift-giving spree, said the effort is growing every year, from 13 to 15 to 20 children in 2016. Everyone had a good time shopping for their recipients and even more fun wrapping the presents. Gina especially enjoys buying Christmas dresses for little girls while the guys in the office get to relive their childhood by buying action figures and the trendy toys of today.