Every year, companies just like ours deliver gifts to their valued clients. For good reason, too — Payday HCM’s clients mean the world to us and drive us to be the best at what we do.
Three years ago we decided to shift gears. Instead of giving client gifts, we kicked off Angels on the Streets. Our goal was to take the money we would have used for gifts and infuse it into our communities, helping those most in need at this time of year.
With companies from across the country that partnered with us on Angels on the Streets, we planned on distributing a total of $50,000 in $100 increments. That year — our first — Payday HCM and our business partners in Angels on the Streets, exceeded our goal and gifted a total of $100,000 to families and individuals in communities throughout the country.
Locally, Payday HCM was able to make a heartfelt total contribution of around $6,000, helping 60 people throughout the greater Albuquerque metro area.
Angels on the Streets was created to honor and replicate what B. Virdot did in 1933:
The year was 1933 and Christmas was just a week away. Deep in the midst of the Great Depression, the people of Canton, Ohio, were down on their luck and hungry. Nearly half of the town was out of work.
It was then that a mysterious “B. Virdot” took out a tiny ad in the Canton Repository newspaper, offering to help the needy before Christmas. All he asked was that they write to him and tell him of their hardships. B. Virdot, he said, was not his real name, and no one would ever know his true identity (in his lifetime). He pledged that those who wrote to him would also remain anonymous.
Letters poured in to the post office by the hundreds. From every corner of the beleaguered town they came – from the baker, the bellhop, the steeplejack, the millworker, the blacksmith, the janitor, the pipe fitter, the salesman, the fired executive. All of them told their stories in the hope of receiving a helping hand. And in the days thereafter, $5 checks went out to 150 families across the town. Today, $5 doesn’t sound like much, but back then it was worth about $100. For many, it was more money than they had seen in months.
“I want our holiday gifts to have meaning, warmth, love, and to make a difference this holiday season,” says Payday HCM President Andrew Siegel. “This is why I am so pleased to bring Angels on the Street to the communities we serve.”
This December 9th, each Payday HCM employee received a $100 bill to give to someone who was less fortunate. We’ve asked employees to share some of their giving stories with us so we can experience the reactions of the recipients collectively, as a company and as members of our community. Here are some stories from our Angels on the Streets.
Stories From Payday HCM’s Angels on the Streets 2016 Team
Yaritza’s story: Gunman brings devastating loss to a family
On Sunday, while at my son’s baseball practice, our very good friend Adam shared with us that he is related to the father who lost all three children last week in a tragic shooting.
I was brought to tears when he began to share the details of how the mom attempted to stop the gunman who invaded their home but couldn’t. He went on to say the guilt that she is carrying is beyond belief.
As a mother of two boys I can’t even begin to imagine what this family is going through. I thought this would be the perfect family to receive the Angels on the Streets envelope.
I began to share with Adam the story of Angels on the Streets. I told him I wanted to give my envelope to the mom and said it should be used so she could do something for herself when she was ready.
Several other parents on the team were very touched by the idea and also donated. Adam was so appreciative and was looking forward to presenting her with the donation.
It gives me great pleasure to have been able to help this family. I look forward to doing it again next year.
Liz’s story: A three-year old boy gets his Christmas
I have a friend who recently lost his job. He had been unemployed for about four months. He and his roommate were taking care of the roommate’s grandson, whose father was in prison. The little boy is about three years old and as sweet as could be.
I told my friend that I had a gift for them, for after Thanksgiving. I went to his apartment and met with him and the little boy. I gave the little boy the $100. I’m sure he has no idea what it was about, but he was excited. My friend was almost in tears and said “now we can have a Christmas.”
Randy’s story: Downsized family gets an upsized gift
We know a family of six, mom, dad and four kids, who found themselves in a difficult place this year. Late last summer, the husband/father lost a good-paying job that he had had for 18 years. Since that time they have lost their home, one of their cars, their cell phones, and the two boys had to drop out of their sports activities. The family is currently living in two rooms at a relative’s home. As you can imagine, things are bleak this holiday season.
When we met, they could not believe that the money was real, that this was really happening. Lots of tears and emotions and excitement that they will be able to get some groceries and things to put under the tree. They kept asking who does this and why; they were just stunned. They kept saying thank you and “Please tell the man that does this thank you, thank you, thank you…”
Lina’s story: After getting custody of her grandkids, a grandmother gets a break
This is my third year giving, and I was very happy to give to such a deserving person. I gave my gift to a 70-years-young lady who had just recently gained custody of her two grandchildren. The kids were taken away from their drug-addicted parents by CYFD (Children, Youth and Families Department) and placed in their grandmother’s care. I had known her for a few years, but never knew her whole story.
We started talking, and I listened to the hardships she had been going through. It’s not easy working part-time at her age, having to put food on the table, and being worried about Christmas for the kids. She told me that her faith kept her going. I told her about our company (Payday HCM) and the Angels on the Streets program in which we had been participating for a few years.
I felt it was a good opportunity to present the envelope to her. She just stared at me as tears rolled down her face. She told me she had prayed that morning that God would help her. She didn’t know how she was going put food on the table that week. She grabbed and hugged me, thanking me and thanking our company for doing this. Wow, what a feeling to brighten someone’s day and spirits.
Misty’s story: Delivering two holiday gifts with one visit
My husband and I were volunteering with Humble Fish by delivering turkey meals to families that were recommended for help through the Albuquerque public school system. One of our last deliveries hit me the hardest, and I knew that I wanted to share the gift of Angels on the Streets with this family.
When we knocked on the door, an older sibling answered and was very appreciative that we were able to bring them food for the holiday. He opened the door and invited us in. Two younger children came out to say “thank you” as well, and their mother was very thankful. One could easily see that this family was in need and may not have been able to enjoy a holiday meal without this help.
We wished them a happy holiday and went back to our vehicle. As soon as I closed the door, I had an overwhelming feeling that they could probably really use a little extra support. I went back to the door and handed the envelope to the older sibling and wished them well. By the time I got back to the vehicle, the whole family came running out to say thank you again and again and gave us the biggest hugs.
It was the best feeling to be able to give a little more to a family in need and especially during the holidays. As appreciative as they were, I truly feel that I am the one who gained something from this experience.
Sherilyn’s story: A text message we all should want to receive
My husband works with a guy and through getting to know him at work has realized that he has had some struggles. So we decided to give this man the $100.00 from the Angels on the Streets program. My husband received a text and it read “Thank you to your wife and you, you guys touched my life and I had to let some tears out. Life has been hard but so worth it! This extra money will go a long way! THANK YOU a million times.”
Huney’s story: Angel Gets A Gift From Angels on the Streets
I met Annaleah years ago when she was a tiny little teenager. My daughter kept her out of trouble and she kept my daughter out of trouble. It was as if both of them were angels together.
I don’t see much of Annaleah anymore because she grew up and went on conquering things in life that we all try to conquer. When I heard of Angels on the Streets, even years later, Annaleah was the first person that came to my mind.
Earlier this year I asked my daughter how Anna had been doing. “As good as can be expected,” she said.
“What does that mean?” I asked. She told me a story that tore my heart apart.
Anna is only twenty but in the past year she has faced more hardship than people twice her age. And she has kept a smile on her face.
Anna’s story began the beginning of this year when she faced the fact that she and her childhood boyfriend, who had became her husband, weren’t on the same page anymore and needed to go their separate ways.
Shortly after that she walked out of her home to discover that someone had hit her car. It was rough on her but she knew she would make it through.
Then she got called to the hospital. What was supposed to be a routine heart bypass on her father somehow went wrong and the man that had been her rock was gone. She had to settle his estate, and help her youngest brother through the crisis.
She has been through so much this year. Because every little bit counts for a Christmas dinner, or maybe a small gift for her brother, I know it will go to a person that is so caring, loving, and deserving.
Like an angel she has kept a smile on her face.
For more information about Angels on the Street visit Angelsonthestreets.org.
If you want to launch Angels on the Street at your company, and need a bit of encouragement, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.