10 years ago, LinkNow Media pivoted our regular secret Santa tradition in favor of doing something that means so much more-and we have never looked back.
As our company has grown as a team and family, so have our hearts and dedication to helping those in need.
Together, we've created a legacy that touches the lives of at-risk children who are most in need.
This year, our goal is to donate 750 gifts and raise $30,000.
LinkNow Media CEO Wesley Mendelovitch recently said it best, "...if we do this all together, we will hit our goal - a little from a lot of people makes a huge impact."
Reflecting on How it All Started
In 2012, our LinkNow Media staff collectively decided we prefer to give back to our community in a way that is different from simply continuing to go about the usual company gift exchange.
After some research, we discovered the Batshaw Youth and Family Centres.
The Batshaw Centres' mission is:
- to provide psychosocial, rehabilitation, and social integration services
- to ensure the provision of services related to child placement, adoption, adoption disclosure, reunification, expertise to the Superior Court, and mediation
Provided in accordance with the Youth Protection Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and An Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services, Batshaw Centres provide much-needed care and services for thousands of youths in need.
This all happens right here at home in our beloved Montreal.
A Good Start
Once we decided to put our efforts into helping the Batshaw Centres, we were fortunate to meet with some of the amazing people who are there working tirelessly, year-round, to provide compassion and support to at-need youths.
The stories they shared with us on our visit were heart-wrenching.
Stories touched on abuse, neglect, sexual assault, violence, and death. We were shocked to learn how many suffering children we share our very own province with.
In our first year, our staff of just 50 people were able to donate 120 gifts.
In our hearts, we knew there were thousands of local children that are helped by the Batshaw Centres. It was tough for us to know that so many kids were still going to go without.
After all, when children write letters to Santa, they don't understand that socioeconomic differences are the deciding factor and not whether or not they've been a good boy or girl this year.
A Snapshot of the History of our Tradition
Since 2012, LinkNow Media has donated a total of 5,168 gifts and $200,696.
While we encourage choosing a child's name and buying gifts first, we also accept cash donations. These financial donations are then used by Batshaw staff to purchase gifts for children whose letters didn't make it in on time or whose names were left lingering on the list after all the selections have been made.
Here is a little highlight of what we've been able to achieve together over the years:
2012: 120 gifts
2015: $10,000 and 250 gifts
2016: $33,000 and 550 gifts.
2019: $28,000 and 500 gifts
2021: $35,000 and 1428 gifts
These numbers don't lie. We're a passionate company with a lot of big hearts on staff and at our ownership level-and we have no plans to stop the beautiful momentum we started ten years ago.
Every year we double down on our efforts, and 2022 is no different.
How to Get Involved
For 2022, we have a goal to raise $30,000 and donate 750 gifts to the Batshaw Centres.
In past years, most of our monetary and physical donations came from members of our own family, including LinkNow owners and employees. This year, we'd like to branch out and extend an invitation to include you as well!
When you participate in our gift drive, all the proceeds (money and gifts) go directly to the kids.
It's worth noting that every member of LinkNow Media who is creating secret Santa websites, making phone calls, and more, is all doing this on a volunteer basis. We feel a duty to give back to our community and hope you feel the same.
So, what are the steps you can take?
- Contribute financially through the donation page on our website
- Read through the letters from Batshaw kids and purchase gifts
- Share our gift drive on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+
And, if you want to get even more involved-we won't say no. You can get in touch with us via phone or e-mail, and we'd be happy to discuss any idea you may have.
You Can Make a Difference
Do you really want to make a difference this Holiday season? There are many good reasons to open your heart and make a child feel cared for. Perhaps you yourself have been a past recipient of generosity during the holidays, at a time when you and your family needed it most and now, you're able to pay it forward.
Maybe you have personal experience with the foster care system or know someone who does. It's also possible that you'd just like to experience the joy of wrapping the arms of kindness around another deserving human being-a child who has pinned their hopes and dreams on the chance that Santa will hear them and answer their wish.
Whatever the case, we welcome you to join us in giving. Your generosity is directly responsible for making these holiday wishes come to life for so many children.
Many of the children at the Batshaw Centres have endured hardships we can never imagine. It's difficult for them to think about the future when they feel they have no future to look forward to.
While some kids want toys, Xboxes, and cameras, others are teenage mothers asking for cribs, clothing, and diapers for their soon-to-be-born children. Some are kids who dream of being able to join their peers in playing outside in the snow with their very own crazy carpets during our long winters. And others are children who are hoping Santa will bring a special bedspread set, so that they can tuck in at night with their favorite characters wrapped cozily around them.
Small acts of giving are the fabric of what keeps the spirit of the holidays alive. You can make a real difference in the life of another person. Won't you join us?