Two women who get things done for the good of others are Val Carver and Jennifer Montillino. This amazing power house duo lead the “Cargill Holiday Adopt -A –Family Gift Program” for Perspectives’ Supportive Housing residents. This is the third annual gift program from Cargill employees! It is not an easy job coordinating gifts for 52 women and over 120 children during the holidays. However, Val & Jennifer made it look so easy…all of our families were adopted by Thanksgiving.
They were able to secure a pod that was housed in Perspectives’ parking lot throughout the holiday season. What a sight to behold, watching Cargill employees dropping off gifts and Laura Rogers, Director of Volunteers at Perspectives’, effortlessly loading them into the pod. Each year the process of gift coordination and gift delivery becomes easier. Val & Jennifer’s passion, organizational skills and patience are greatly used and help to make this program sail.
Laura Rogers, who manages this partnership each year said, “Val and Jennifer,your hard work has put so much joy into the lives of our families living in our housing program. I have personally had clients here at Perspectives tell me that they could not believe the fantastic gifts they received over the holidays. One client said, ““Laura, every gift I put on my wish-list was wrapped and given to my family and even ones I had not asked for. We are so very grateful.””
Cargill employees were also touched by their experience and here is what some Cargill employees had to say after the gift program experience.
“This was a rewarding experience. I was humbled by the simple gifts requested by the family member that I adopted and more than happy to purchase the things. I nearly cried when I read her list because so often the world is filled with elaborate “wants” and her wish list was quite simple. I welcome the opportunity to participate in the Adopt-a-Family again next year.”
“My group used the “Adopt-A-Family” program as an opportunity for a team building event. In the face of growing economic concern and instability in the world around us, it was very grounding to be able to pull to together as a team and make the holidays a little better for some local families. It reminded us of the spirit of holiday giving and the gift you get in return.”
“At a time when Cargill was faced with lots of changes related to the economy, we were able to support a fellow team in helping them fulfill their commitment to ‘Adopt a Family’ by providing them with money; based on us exceeding our fundraising goal/need. This was a testament to the Cargill family helping out one another in fulfilling our commitments.”
Val and Jennifer are a testament of how hope and love survive in the lives of at risk families. It is because of their strong passion and commitment that Perspectives’ families can say, “I had Christmas for my family.”
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Cahill Gabran
Director of Volunteers