What started as a grassroots initiative in Unum’s customer care department by Betty Morris, senior vocational rehab consultant, is now a campus-wide effort to spread holiday cheer to Chattanoogans who could use a little help.
One day 20 years ago, Betty heard another company sponsoring families had to suddenly back out, leaving 50 families without gifts for the holidays.
“Our employees immediately stepped up and we quickly had all the families adopted — then went back for 25 more,” said Betty. “That was the moment I saw the desire of our employees to share their hearts with those in need. Every year I grow prouder of the giving spirit of Unum’s employees.”
“I enjoy collecting gifts each year, but the most amazing part is when we finally deliver them,” said Paul Brinkmann, a 13-year veteran of the gift drive. “Everyone at Partnership gets so excited when we start offloading bag after bag of gifts and supplies because they know the families we’re helping are going to have a great Christmas.”
Paul said this year was even more fun because of a special interaction between a little girl and a Unum employee dressed as Santa.
“She spotted him from a distance at one of our stops and was scared to approach him,” Paul explained. “But with a little coaching from her mom, the girl stepped up to meet Santa and had the biggest grin on her face. It was a great moment and made our day.”
Although our employees find delivering the gifts very rewarding, they do it for the communities.
“The impact that Unum employees have on our clients is truly immeasurable,” said Amy Carlton, development specialist at the Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults. “There is no way to measure the thankfulness of a parent in our domestic violence shelter as they watch their child opening gifts that were lovingly provided by Unum at a time when they have absolutely nothing, or the gratefulness of a senior client who is living alone on a fixed income. We are so thankful Unum employees show their generosity and kindness by bringing joy to so many people with the Holiday Gift Drive.”
Watch as Unum’s employees deliver gifts all around Chattanooga spreading holiday cheer.