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Giving Back: BSM Aims to Make Lives Better This Holiday Season … and Year-Round

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 9:00 AM

The BSM Way

Written by: Marla Galasso

Marla Galasso
Corporate services manager

There is one firmly entrenched core value that every BSM employee holds dear: We want to make people’s lives better and easier. Here at BSM, this fundamental value extends well beyond what we accomplish at our desks or on the road … particularly during the holiday season.

For the past several years we have participated in a highly rewarding company tradition of adopting a local family heading into the holiday season. Each year we collaborate with a local charity organization that selects a family that is in particular need of a miracle. The family’s name is always anonymous to the BSM staff — we just receive their ages and genders. While it is unspoken, everyone at BSM knows that our goal is to give that family the Christmas of their dreams. We want to make the holidays special and memorable for that family … and us.

Members of the family are only able to put items they need on their Christmas wish list. We smile when the family’s list is simply to receive some much needed — and basic — snow gear to survive our blustery winter season; we know we are going to be able to give so much more.

Armed with the information we need – ages, genders, and needs — the BSM team quickly comes together to make monetary donations. These funds are then given to an “experienced” shopping committee, which diligently builds the dream Christmas, one present at a time. Our industrious shoppers (including some team members who pick things up on their own) find ways to go well beyond the family’s needs list, expanding their focus to include toys, clothes, gift cards, and luxuries for the home. One year we got the children bunk beds. Another year we purchased a gas card, so the father could commute to work without having to dip into his paycheck.

"While it is unspoken, everyone at BSM knows that our goal is to give that family the Christmas of their dreams." — Marla Galasso

On the final day of gift collection, we hold an ugly Christmas sweater party for the staff — wow, do we have some sweaters that are truly ugly — and everyone gets together in the conference room to wrap the presents. Everyone always gets caught up in the spirit and joy of the moment. Despite a paper cut or two, this is an event everyone cherishes.

When all the presents are wrapped, we load the gifts into several SUVs and deliver them to the charity’s office, taking lots of pictures along the way. The stack of presents is always impressive, and we can just imagine the look on the family’s faces when they see their special delivery. While we would all love to be there on Christmas morning to share in their joy, we know they will be happy and thankful.

For the most part, all of this seemed like casual fun to us until last year when we received the most touching thank-you note written by the father of the family we adopted that year. In the past, we had received thank-you notes, but his was different.

The father told us how he could never thank us enough and described our impact on his family’s Christmas experience at a particularly difficult time in their lives. His words brought tears to our eyes, and we realized — this is more than just fun. We just made someone’s life a little better and a little easier.

We hope to achieve the same for this year’s adopted family and make their holiday season a little brighter. It’s what we at BSM are all about — aiming to make people’s lives better and easier (no matter the season).

IT'S A WRAP: The BSM team poses with the gifts it will be donating this holiday season to a local family in need. Also, can you spot the winner of the ugly Christmas sweater contest?

YOUR TURN:  What are you doing this holiday season to give back?

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