DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (CBS) — It’s that time of year when many companies host holiday parties. Some people might be headed to one right now, but in Downers Grove, one company is foregoing a party and doing something more in the spirit of giving.
CBS 2’s Chris Martinez reports employees at MicroTek have been participating in the U.S. Postal Service’s “Letters To Santa” program, and will spend their holiday party wrapping and shipping gifts to needy families.
It began with MicroTek CEO Don Slivensky wanting his work family to make a better Christmas for kids who otherwise wouldn’t have one at all.
“We cut back on our Christmas party a little bit, took some of that funding to do this,” he said.
Two people on a letter picking committee went to the post office to choose several letters to pass out to co-workers.
Among others, the letters came from a woman who recently lost her husband, and a boy who simply wanted clothes.
“Once all the letters are picked, employees are all given a half a day off to go out and do the shopping,” Slivensky said. “Then we’ll bring all the gifts together for our Christmas party.”
Each employee also received $100 to buy the gifts for the family that sent their letter. Though employees were supposed to take one letter each, many were moved to respond to two or three.
“You can’t pick one. You just can’t. You know, you’re reading these, you just can’t,” MicroTek employee Jacqui Miceli said.
Even though the company is already answering more letters than Slivensky expected, he said, “I’m gonna go over, get some extras too, because even if there’s extras, we’ll take them on and take care of those also.”
Slivensky said he hopes other companies will do the same thing. His family has participated in the “Letters To Santa” program for several years, and his employees were thrilled to join the tradition.