My involvement as part of KCIC’s internal “social team” has been a particularly compelling experience for me over the last year and a half. I’ve taken great pleasure in helping plan numerous company parties, happy hours, new-hire welcome events, trivia nights, and so on. However, as we approach the end of a splendid 2023 holiday season, what stands out to me the most is how fortunate I’ve been to play a key role in our company’s charitable endeavors.
Philanthropy is deeply ingrained throughout KCIC’s ranks, as evidenced by the near-100% participation rate in our 2023 Race for Every Child Charity Raffle. This year, our team “Take the Risk!” raised approximately 50% more for Children’s National Hospital than we did in 2022—even with only a slight increase in our company’s overall size. While we typically propose a “minimum” donation in such cases, virtually all employees go above and beyond with numerous magnanimous individuals making significant financial contributions. The social team’s role in these efforts is to steer the course, but real advancement through our charitable missions is entirely due to our employees’ ubiquitous enthusiasm for them.
The scene above is from our annual Holiday Helper gift wrapping event, where we prepare toys, household supplies, winter clothing, and other gifts for families in need in the surrounding D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region. For some years now we have partnered with Prince George’s Child Resource Center, Inc. to deliver an uplifting holiday season for individuals in need. Donating money is one thing, but it was while picking out toys at Target – for several kids I will likely never meet – that I truly “got it.” Am I really going to enjoy the $40 as much as the unknown 7-year-old, whose first Lego set it might become?
Chatting recently with Nancy Gutzler, who led KCIC’s social team for more than a decade, I reflected on how incredibly satisfying it is that our company endorses and enables employees to spend ‘work time’ on things like this. KCIC’s day-to-day activities include supporting clients’ efforts to recompense individuals who may have been negatively affected by their actions, and while those projects provide unique value to many, our teams are often several stages removed from the final impact of their work. It is moving to receive the feedback each year that the Holiday Helper kids love their toys, and I’m tremendously proud to have helped create opportunities for my coworkers to tangibly engage with these great causes. Every time we complete a push toward some altruistic objective, I receive messages from numerous coworkers asking how they can play a bigger role in the next one; leaders emerge from all levels, all the time. Philanthropy takes a village, and this overwhelmingly positive energy makes my job easy.
On behalf of KCIC, have a safe and joyous holiday season – and please try to find an opportunity to help someone who needs it. Thank you!
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