The Tradition of Giving Back at WBE
At WBE, we believe that every little bit helps.
Every holiday season, we do our best to give more. Though our efforts may be small, we hope to do our part to make this time of year more merry and bright.
Learn about WBE’s holiday drive this year, how the tradition of giving back started and how you can start making a difference, too.
Our holiday drive this year: Helping Foster Children
The holiday season is all about cherishing time with your loved ones. But for some children in the Bay Area, this time of year is yet another reminder that they don’t have families to spend it with.
For WBE’s holiday gift this year, we were drawn to helping foster children. Though it may come as a surprise, there are currently 4,000+ foster care kids in the Bay Area. These kids are vulnerable to issues far from the public’s eye, such as homelessness, human trafficking and abuse.
To do our small part in brightening this season, we bought items for our clients that supported foster care, including mugs, candles, snacks and coffee. (For example, every mug purchased earned a stuffed animal for a child entering foster care.) We also highlighted our desire to help foster children in our annual holiday gift card, generating more interest from our circles.
Though we may only play the tiniest role in foster children’s lives, we believe our efforts of donating money this year matter and create a more empathetic workplace – and world.
How the tradition of giving back started
Our tradition of giving back started in 2015 with the simple desire to do something for the homeless population during the holidays. Together our teams put together backpacks of snacks and essential items to hand out. Our employees then went out with the packs and gave them to people in need.
From this moment, our annual holiday giving tradition was born.
2016: Be the Change
The next year, we decided to create a coin jar drive called Be The Change. Employees placed these jars at home, filled them up and then passed on the money to somebody who could use it. Back at the office, we shared who we gave these jars to. Some chose to buy a neighbor lunch, while others presented it to a stranger in need.
This was also the first year we offered a monetary gift to every customer and employee for the charity or individual of their choosing. Nowadays, this annual charitable donation is one of the most cherished traditions for our employees and customers alike.
2017: Fire Safety Preparedness Kit
After witnessing the destruction of the 2017 Bay Area wildfires, we felt compelled to make fire safety preparedness kits that could save residents’ most important items from harm. We put together fire resistant kits and bags, with a list of things that would be important to store in the event of a fire.
2018: Cancer Awareness
In 2018, we chose to give back to cancer causes and organizations. We bought “love your melon” mugs, with 50% of proceeds going towards fighting pediatric cancer. This was quite a personal cause, as a fellow staff member’s husband had recently passed away from brain cancer. To honor him, we also passed out granola bars to the homeless, which he often did throughout his life.
2019: Save the Planet
Our holiday drive in 2019 focused on the environment and how small changes can make a huge difference. We offered eco-friendly holiday bags with items that were reusable in some way.
2020: Kindness is Contagious
During COVID-19, we were concerned for those experiencing loneliness and/or depression. Our drive focused on reaching out to others and spreading kindness. Some employees baked cookies and gave them to someone to bring extra cheer. In addition, many chose to give their donation credit to mental illness and suicide awareness.
Inspiring others to make a difference
At WBE, we feel fortunate that the construction industry has remained strong in recent years and that we’ve been able to give back to others who aren’t so lucky.
Our tradition of giving back isn’t meant to be self-congratulatory. Little did we know that when we started our first holiday drive five years ago that it would become an intricate part of our company culture and source of joy for all of us.
“Each year, I’m so impressed with the thoughtfulness WBE puts into the holiday gifts. Thank you for bringing attention to such an important cause.”
-Judy Chen Perez, Tech Bus Services Associate, Wells Fargo
“I just wanted to drop a quick note thanking you for the concern and support shown to those in need, it truly sets you and WBE apart from other companies I have worked with. The first year I saw this program I thought it was a nice gesture. Now I look for the annual announcement and enjoy showing this off to my peers.”
-Customer at financial services firm
We hope sharing our tradition will inspire others to do the same. As you can see, our customers light up when we send a monetary gift to their favorite charity or individual – not to mention the beneficiaries themselves.
If your company feels compelled to get started with a holiday drive tradition, let us know, we’d be happy to share our learnings and help get you started. No matter how small the effort, it makes a difference.
Be the Change during the holidays and beyond
We’re proud of our tradition of giving back at WBE and thank our customers, employees and their families for the support and generosity they’ve shown every year.
Remember that giving back doesn’t have to be reserved for the holidays! It’s never too early or too late to make a difference. Learn more about how we try to give back year-round here.
We wish you all a safe, happy and healthy New Year!