Parents walked out of Christmas House, some with carts piled high with toys that their children will unwrap on Christmas morning.
But it wasn’t what was in their carts that kept Jason Radach, founder and CEO of VitalSource, and his 25 employees hustling for an entire work day on Wednesday, Dec. 6.
It was the look on the parents’ faces.
“You could tell they were extremely appreciative,” Radach said.
In the past, the employees of the Bellevue-based company have donated time to local nonprofits, packaging up food.
“But you don’t get to see their gratitude …,” Radach said of one of the reasons why his team chose Christmas House this year. “This was instant gratification for the employees. They got to see the look on people’s faces.”
VitalSource donated their entire company’s work time on Dec. 6 to volunteer for the Everett, volunteer-run nonprofit, which provides an opportunity for low-income Snohomish County parents to select free holiday gifts for their children. Last year, Christmas House served 7,946 children from 2,634 families, who received a total of 46,426 free gifts, according to the organization’s 2016 annual report. This included children from over 200 homeless families.
Radach said he wanted to select a cause that would allow his employees to donate their time as a team, which proved to be quite a challenge once they started searching for a nonprofit that could accept his entire team on the same day.
“We wanted something that we could set up every year potentially – something for children was high on the list, so [Christmas House] hit all our buttons,” Radach added.
Throughout the day, employees gathered at the Everett Boys and Girls Club, escorting guests through the Christmas House “department store” set up in the gymnasium and assisting them with selecting gifts for their children. Others helped by stocking tables with toys, entering data into the computer and assisting guests with merchandise as they left Christmas House.
Radach said the organization serves approximately 200-250 people per day through their department store. Some of the families on Dec. 6 had as many as 13 children.
Radach, who organized the shopping carts throughout the day, said seeing the families checking out with their carts piled with toys was very gratifying.
“I had the warm and fuzzies on the way home because you know you did a good thing, so that was very satisfying for me also.”
For more information about Christmas House, visit www.christmas-house.org.