For the last five years, LaSalle’s Baltimore team has worked hard to bring joy to families in need during the holiday season. Through a partnership with Baltimore City Social Services, the team’s Adopt-A-Family initiative supports a family every year to ensure they have presents to open during the holidays.
Kim Swann, Senior Administrative Assistant, suggested the initiative to her team five years ago, and has been leading on it ever since.
I’ve always been a giving person. My family has been supporting two families every Thanksgiving and Christmas for over two decades. My church also sponsors families. So, it was no-brainer to share an opportunity to give back with the LaSalle team.– Kim Swann, Senior Administrative Assistant
Every year, Kim works with Baltimore City Social Services to find a family in need. She then meets with the families and creates a wish list based on what gift ideas the children share. Kim then sends a presentation to LaSalle’s Baltimore team with information on the family members, their wish lists and how to donate or buy gifts. Typically, the team gets together to wrap the gifts, but this year they are contributing virtually. Kim then delivers the gifts to the family directly along with some colleagues.
“In previous years, it’s been special getting to watch colleagues put together bikes, blow up basket balls, or wrap gifts together,” Kim shared. “This year, we are still accepting gifts and donations, and even though we are planning to deliver the gifts in a way where we are practicing social distancing and wearing masks, it will still be really nice to complete a family’s holiday wish.”
In 2019, the exchange was especially memorable for Kim and her colleagues. When one of the children shared his ambitions to be a fireman when he was older, Kim contacted a friend who was also a fireman to help deliver the gifts. The response she received was more than she ever expected.
“On the day we agreed to deliver the gifts, I was at the family’s home and suddenly heard sirens down the street. When we went outside, we saw that my friend had brought an actual fire truck and eight other firemen joined him. Neighbors came out to participate and the kids got to meet the firemen and sit in the truck,” Kim shared. “It was amazing. Most times I don’t cry, but last year got me.”
Read other community support stories
On our bikes
Cycling through Europe for a good cause.
Supporting children with Blue for Japan
Opening up opportunities for children in social care.
Supporting the UK’s National Health Service
LaSalle was able to provide nearly £3 million of in-kind support to essential workers.