Employees make the 2013 Giving Tree a success
By Kelly Lenox
The 2013 Giving Tree, sponsored by the Diversity Council, gave NIEHS employees the opportunity to brighten Christmas for some area children. “It’s been an amazing job of partnering with the Salvation Army to share our riches with a lot of people this holiday season,” observed Joellen Austin, NIEHS associate director for management.
At the Dec. 5 celebration, the success of the Giving Tree effort was evident. Bill Quattlebaum recalled, “Last year we did 160 tags. We got in 120, and, in the last few days, had to have some more brought over to us. This year, it has been harder to plan, with the furlough and late Thanksgiving, so we have been really pleased with the response.”
All of this year’s 150 tags were taken, and some employees went the extra mile. “Gregory Solomon and some of his elves offered to assemble the bicycles that had been donated,” Quattlebaum said. Solomon has already renewed the offer for next year. “ We don’t want the assembly to keep anyone from buying a bike.”
Along with admiring the bicycles and other gifts, large and small, the gathered employees used the time to sample the festive treats, while getting better acquainted with one another.