No parties, no get-togethers, no potlucks. The very fabric of our culture of interacting and connecting with each other is now a “risk” we cannot take. Yes this world is strange, but we are determined not to lose our humanity. Instead, we found a way to enhance our connection and humanity by conducting a charity event! From that concept, the 2020 Holiday Bazaar was born! The main objective of the Bazaar was to raise enough money to purchase gifts for 24 families transitioning out of homelessness, but it was so much more.
Sonderen employees showcased their talents by donating several handmade items to the cause. Stunning quilts, quaint zen gardens, jams, pickles, treats, birdhouses, bottle openers and more! There were even various experiences you could bid on, such as a “Wash & Wax While You Work” by Matt Sonderen, Co-Owner of Sonderen Packaging. Also a “Day of Catching”; a guided fishing trip by our Finishing Department Manager, Allen. Our vendors also supported the event by donating new items and our sales team donated a 36”Blackstone griddle. It was no surprise that the griddle turned out to be a very successful raffle item. Ticket purchases were limited only to Sonderen Employees. Brian, our Director of Quality was ecstatic when he won, and cooked a hearty breakfast on it the next day!
The Bazaar was set up on our mezzanine on 12 tables with over 95 items and a Christmas tree. Safety first! Each person had their own pen, mask and sanitized before entering the bidding area. Most items were available for purchase in the style of a silent auction. Playful banter was prevalent when folks were bidding against one another, which added to the fun. Everyone that participated was clear on the goal- to raise $5,000 or more for the families. 31 kids and 35 adults are going to have a magical Christmas because of the generous hearts of so many. We blew our goal out of the water and raised a total of $7,000 dollars!
We have a team of folks with big hearts. Many were moved by the cause of the nonprofit who matched us with the families, Transitions. Their mission is to end homelessness for women and children in Spokane, WA (help4women.org). Another goal was to give our folks an opportunity to be intimately involved in doing good. We accomplished this by asking if anyone wanted to “adopt a family.” Armed with the wish list, cash in hand and instructions for submitting the gifts- several folks spent their own time shopping and wrapping gifts for others.
10 year old Jayna has this to say about her experience giving to those less fortunate. “My heart feels happy to be able to do this for someone else. Every kid deserves to have presents for Christmas.”