A cherished holiday tradition here at Lewis is the annual holiday fundraiser. An employee-run event that unites the company and serves the community at-large has been passed down over the years—serving as an ongoing occasion that spreads cheer and is eagerly awaited each year.
Jan Paino, a Supervisor in the Lewis Accounting department, has graciously organized the event for the past few years. She sheds some light on her involvement, how things have changed with COVID, and highlights from the past.
Tell us a bit about the Salvation Army Adopt a Family Event
Jan: The Corporate office has done Adopt A Family for I believe as long as I have been an employee here, now before you think “Big Deal”, I have been here for 28 years. Normally our efforts are contained within the corporate office, or at least that I am aware of. We usually put out a listing of items that the people in the families would like and staff purchases some of those things, or departments might combine their donations and buy gift cards, or the larger items for the families. For at least the last 20 years, I think, we have been having a bake sale, which later evolved into a bake sale and lunch, and later still we started serving breakfast also. Cost was always by donation and the extra money was used to supplement what people didn’t purchase individually. Sometimes if we raised enough, we might even adopt another family.
How will things be different this year from past years
Jan: With the appearance of COVID 19 we will not be able to have the “All Day Food Fest”. Don’t worry we are still adopting families, I was also told that the Salvation Army is expecting twice the number of families, as a lot of people have been hit really hard this year. So instead of food, we are trying to think of other ways to raise the money. Also because of COVID 19 the Salvation Army has requested that we just give gift cards. Now I know that this is not as much fun, but we are still going to have an “Angel Tree” here in the office. We will have pictures of the items that have been wished for, approximate cost and where those items can be purchased, so that you could take an “Ornament”, purchase the gift card, or give cash and return it to me. Also, besides the Raffle, we will be having a sale on December 8th. This will involve new, and gently used items, and handmade crafts. If you are a crafter, or maybe received 2 instant pots for example last year and would like to donate items, please let me know, we would love to include your donations in that way.
Food has been a big part of this event in the past. Can you tell us a bit about your efforts there
Jan: With me not making breakfast casseroles, 4 crockpots of main dishes, and about 15 pounds of potato salad, 15 pounds of pasta salad, huge bowls of green salad, chips, desserts, rolls, and anything else that I thought someone might like to eat, that no one had signed up for, I feel like I should be doing something else to get us ready.
Jan beams with enthusiasm when recalling past events and paramount to those memories is her favorite part: the overwhelming generosity. Whether it’s involvement from individuals that she infrequently interacts with or departments chipping in with team-driven efforts, Jan has countless stories from over the years on why this event is near and dear to her heart.
If Lewis employees want to bid on raffle items, donate directly to families, or have questions, they can reach out to Jan Paino via her Lewis email or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the Southern California chapter of The Salvation Army, visit them here: https://westernusa.salvationarmy.org/california-south/
Rosie Lewis is the Corporate Marketing Manager at The Lewis Group of Companies. Rosie is a Claremont native who enjoys hiking, yoga, and developing her green thumb.