Here’s how it worked: everyone in the agency contributes $5 per month for the privilege of wearing jeans on Fridays. That includes Steve and Gary! At the end of the year, we buy gifts for a deserving family using our friends at the Utica Municipal Housing Authority (MHA) to help us.
Cathy LeTray, our Casual Day coordinator (and claims manager), tells it like this:
“This year we again adopted two families. A single young woman and a mother with a little 18-month-old boy. We purchased each a sofa and loveseat and TV stand.
“The single mom, Annabelle, also received a dresser for her son and was going to get a new table and chairs. But the table and chairs we purchased for her ended up not being needed as her mother bought her a table and chairs for Christmas.
“Since she did not need the table, we requested that one of the volunteers from Empire Corp receive the table and chairs because she fell in love with them when she was helping with the deliveries. We also purchased clothes and toys for the little boy and each of the women received gifts from their wish list.
“The nice thing about this giveback program is that the young woman we purchased the furniture for donated her old furniture to MHA to be used as needed for those without!
“It truly is an awesome project and I can’t wait to do it again.”
Experiencing these families’ joy made us think of Charles Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol.” A friend of ours reads the original story every year. It’s short and holds all the charms of the many films, plays, and cartoons depicting this Christmas tale of redemption and good cheer.
So how did Dickens come up with this beautiful Christmas story? It turns out that in the early part of the nineteenth century, English…and American…industrialization brought huge gaps in incomes for the rich and poor. At the time, it seemed the wealthy were indifferent to the plight of the working class poor.
Charles Dickens became enraged by all of this, especially exploited children working fifteen to eighteen hours a day in the coal mines. He gave a well received, passionate speech about it to an accepting audience.
Noticing his audience’s enthusiasm, he decided to write a pamphlet about the unfairness and mistreatment of poor children. But then he changed his mind and thought a Christmas story would be better.
So in just a few months, working day and night on just this project, he wrote “A Christmas Carol.” It was an instantaneous success, selling the first edition of 6,000 copies by Christmas. It delighted readers all over the world with its spirits, self-examination, and, in the end, redemption.
And good cheer!
And that’s why we love our Casual Day Project. Bringing good cheer to deserving families with some new furniture, gifts, and toys for the kids.
So to all our clients, friends, and family here in the Mohawk Valley, Merry Christmas!! As Tiny Tim said, God bless Us, Every One!
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
PS. Reminder: We’ve moved to 120 Lomond Court, Utica, NY 13502. Our phones, fax, email, and website remain the same.
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.