Photo for Christmas is For Community

Christmas is For Community

Posted by Real Estate Webmasters on Thursday, December 5th, 2019 at 12:31pm.

The holidays are a special time here at Real Estate Webmasters.

It is a time where we celebrate our community—the very community that REW has grown up in, and who has given so much support to us over the years.

But we know that Christmas is hard for many families, in our community and beyond.

In Nanaimo, we have a volunteer organisation called Volunteer Nanaimo. Like many of their sister organisations in cities all through North America, Volunteer Nanaimo serves our community in many, many amazing ways.

During the holidays, they also run a program simply called "Christmas Angels".

Christmas Angels connects the community with families, seniors, and vulnerable youth, where Christmas can be an especially financially troublesome time.

This program touches our hearts deeply—it is something we have done for the last three years, and will be something that REW does for as long as possible.

In 2019, REW Leadership team, invited staff and their families out to participate in "The Shop".

Each staff member is given the information of the Christmas Angel family they are shopping for, which looks like this:

FAMILY: LV#8796
Family Member: Jennica
Gender: Female
Age: 9 years
Wish list: warm socks, snow pants, stuffy.

Or sometimes like this:

FAMILY: TR:#1435
Family Member: Patricia
Gender: Female
Age: Mom
Wish list: pasta, canned soup, canned vegetables, other pantry items.

Every family's identity is kept anonymous. Every family has different needs. Every family is important.

Christmas Angels"Shop Day"

Shop Day is a frenzy of smiles and very committed shoppers trying to find the perfect thing for the person they are shopping for.

REW leadership, staff, and family meet at Nanaimo's Walmart. Walmart is really supportive, and even give us a dedicated checkout lane.

 

 

Everybody Gets Involved

2019 marks Bella Salvino's second year of shopping. Bella is 10 this year, and the daughter of one of our staff members.

This year Bella was tasked with shopping for a 3-year old boy, who only wished for toy cars, dinosaurs, or clothing.

Bella took this challenge to heart. She meticulously combed the aisles. Making careful decisions, she did her best to find the perfect gift for her new anonymous friend.

little girl choosing Christmas gift

When Bella met REW CEO Morgan Carey at the dedicated check out lane, he noticed her gift, and how much effort she spent picking it out.

When he asked her what being a Christmas Angel meant to her, Bella simply answered, "it means making sure that everyone smiles at Christmas."

And that is really what Shop Day is for us at REW. It is a way for us to show love to those in our community. Showing them that they matter. Showing them that they are important.

Christmas Angels "Wrap Day"

The next step is to wrap all of these gifts, and for that we needed a little help from the incredible volunteers from Volunteer Nanaimo.

Tables took over the lunch room at the REW Campus. Covered in wrapping paper, gift tags, scissors, and tape. Christmas music played in the background, and Tim Horton's coffee and treats kept the Wrapping Warriors fueled the gargantuan task ahead.

The Wrappers take their role very seriously. Wrapping paper corners were tucked in perfectly. Tape lines nice and straight. These ladies and gents take every moment they can to make the gifts look and feel and special as possible.

On the first day, they wrapped all of the gifts for 9 families. Although tired from the day, the wrappers left with smiles on their faces and warmth in their hearts.

The second day volunteers and staff pulled together to finish wrapping over 500 items, from teddy bears to bags of rice.

Volunteers wrapping gifts for Christmas Angels programThe holidays are a special time here at Real Estate Webmasters.

Christmas is For Community

Once the gifts were wrapped, we happily handed them to the event organizers so they could give them to the intended recipients, and our participation is over.

But the effects of this program are not.

This program will put a smile on that 3-year old boy's face when he unwraps that perfect gift that Bella found for him.

Through this program, those canned goods, bags of rice, and pantry staples will help their family sit down to a meal together without concern for cost.

This program will give a few more kids warmer mittens, insulated jackets, and new socks to help get them through the winter months.

This program will help a few more moms, dads, and grandparents that can take a breath, even if it's just for a moment, knowing they have a community standing behind them.

This program brings our community together.

Because Christmas is for community.

We challenge you to reach out to your community this holiday season and see what you can do to make it stronger and better supported. Even small acts of kindness can have a big impact!

Morgan Carey hugs Christmas Angel volunteer after seeing the special gift they found for their Christmas Angel family

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