Mallinckrodt Employee Helps Bring the Joy of the Holiday Season to Families in Need

Today’s story is the final entry in the #MNKGivesBack series, highlighting Mallinckrodt’s Global Month of Service, a company-wide initiative encouraging employees to give back to our local communities through volunteer and fundraising events throughout the month of October.

The holiday season in the United States is a time of joy, where friends and families think of those they love and find a way to show how much they care by the simple act of giving a gift. For children, the recollections of unwrapping the one thing that they have been wanting all year can be the most cherished memory of their early lives. This is why organizations like the New Hope Resource Center organize the annual “Christmas Shoppe,” which supports families in need to bring the joy of the holidays during times when those families are struggling to make ends meet.

Each year, the Christmas Shoppe includes a buffet meal and a framed professional family photograph. After the meal, the children participate in a variety of children’s activities while the parents shop in a room filled with new, nominally priced gifts (e.g., children’s bike with helmet $5). The parents work with a personal shopper to select exactly what their children will like, and then other volunteers purchase the specially-priced gifts. All the gifts are then wrapped, along with free pajamas, diapers, socks and other essentials.

For several years Hazelwood employee Cristie Vollmar, Director, Quality Assurance has been volunteering at the New Hope Resource Center. Cristie enjoyed working with the church-based group and always wished she could do a little more to support both the Center and the families it serves, especially during the holiday season. This year, through the Global Month of Service (GMoS) initiative, she was able to do just that by spending a full day buying gifts for the event.

“I’ve been a personnel shopper during the Christmas Shoppe event, but never could take time off to help purchase the gifts beforehand,” said Cristie. “This year, I could!”

Cristie spent the day scouring local stores for affordable comforters, blankets, pillows and other home goods. As a thrifty shopper, she enjoyed the challenge of seeing how far she could stretch her allotted budget. By the end of the day, her Prius was fully stuffed and the shopping coordinator immediately recruited her for another round of shopping.

“Each year, as the families carry out the bags of presents, you cans see how happy and proud the parents are to provide for their family. It’s really a wonderful organization and I’m grateful I got to participate more fully in the Christmas Shoppe event this year,” added Cristie.

The New Hope Resource Center helps individuals and families achieve financial stability and life transformation by providing budget counseling, utility and rent assistance, personal essentials and other services in the western areas of metro St. Louis, Missouri. They offer the gifts of dignity and empowerment as they walk a longer journey with families by providing skills, opportunity and resources to reach their goals, offering far more than financial resources.

A ministry of Morning Star Church, they have been serving families since 2010, counting over 850 clients and disbursing over $400,000 to families in need as of the end of 2016.

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To read all of our Global Month of Service stories, select the #MNKGivesBack tag.