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Playing Santa: BSM Adopts a Family for the Holidays

Wednesday, December 26, 2018 9:00 AM

The BSM Way

Written by: Andreea Tamas

Every holiday season, BSM Consulting collaborates with a nonprofit called Tahoe Family Solutions (TFS) to “adopt” a local family in need. Each family is anonymously paired with a participating business, which receives basic information about the family, including its size and members’ ages and genders. This year, our adopted family consisted of a husband and wife with two young daughters and a baby on the way.

I was happy to be tasked with shopping for our adopted family, along with my coworker, Alex Blevins. The family requested basic items to help it get through the winter season such as snow pants, boots, and warm jackets. Rather than ask for clothes, the mother requested household necessities such as a vacuum and cookware. While we are thrilled to be able to provide these necessities, our goal is to always exceed expectations by getting items that go beyond the family's needs.

A Haul Santa Would be Proud Of

This is how I found myself inside a box store stacking a cart high with toys, dolls, and puzzles. Alex and I had such a great time being in the store, where the holiday spirit was alive and well. There were a lot of other people shopping for presents, Christmas carols were playing in the background, and Christmas decorations were everywhere you looked.

After purchasing the family’s requested items, we had extra money to spend thanks to the generosity of our coworkers! While we purchased additional items for the parents (i.e., slippers, hats, and gloves), Alex and I decided to focus mostly on getting the children extra gifts.

Since the two girls are so close in age (2 and 3 years old), we purchased some larger toys that can be shared between them. We had a lot of fun choosing outfits, accessories, dolls, and other items for them. While we were debating what else we could buy for the kids, the idea of educational toys, puzzles, and books came to my mind. We also picked up some necessities for the new baby.

Toward the end of our shopping spree, our cart was piled so high with gifts that it was very hard for me to see where I was going. I had to crane my neck around the side of the cart to see in front of me, so Alex offered to “drive” the cart, since she is taller than me. Meanwhile, I helped by guiding her through the store until we arrived at the register. When we were ready to checkout, everyone around us was staring, probably because of the number of toys we had. The lady at the register asked us who the presents were for, thinking it was for one child. We were very excited to share our story of supporting a family this holiday season, and she told us that she thinks we work for a great company. We couldn’t agree more!

After our shopping excursion, we had a haul Santa would be proud of. Luckily, there was just enough room in my sedan to squeeze all the presents in — although I must admit it was hard to see out of the back window! Overall, we were able to collect several extra items for each family member such as shoes, clothes, and toys. Alex and I were able to purchase all these extra items due to the generosity of BSM employees. While making a monetary donation to the adopted family is optional, many employees chose to contribute.

To ensure this year’s monetary donations went further, Alex and I purchased the family’s requested items online to take advantage of discounts. These savings allowed us to spend our shopping day purchasing all those extra gifts we thought the family would enjoy and find useful. On top of the shopping Alex and I accomplished, we had a few helpers — fellow employees — who chose to shop and donate items from the family’s “wish list,” including blankets, supermarket gift cards, and a few other items for the parents (since we had purchased so many gifts for the children).

Bringing Joy

Once all the gifts were collected, it was time to wrap them. The BSM team covered each gift in colorful, festive wrapping paper during our annual office Christmas party. It filled me with joy to see stacks of presents under our office Christmas tree! Later that afternoon, me and a few other BSM employees went to TFS to drop off the presents. The manager thanked us for participating every year and said that of all the companies that participate, we are the most charitable donors. It made me very proud that I work for — and with — such caring, charitable people. We can only imagine the family’s reaction yesterday — Christmas morning — when the presents were unwrapped. We hope our efforts delighted the family and brought its members joy, making their holiday season a little brighter.

YOUR TURN: What charitable act does your company do during the holidays? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks, and happy holidays!


  • Elizabeth Holloway, BSM Senior Consultant said

    Thank you, BSM Consulting, for allowing us to participate in such an extraordinary event each year. As a remote consultant, I appreciate the opportunity to give back to our community in Tahoe. Thanks also to Andreea and Alex for your hard work in organizing our donations and coordinating the gifts. Each year, I look forward to seeing the volunteer activity and holiday cheer in our Incline Village office! I am sure it was a Christmas this family will never forget!

  • Patricia Kennedy, BSM senior consultant said

    Andreea, this blog brought me joy to read! Thank you to you and Alex for making this annual tradition happen again in such a wonderful way. I was with you in spirit! The pictures are really special — the spirit of the holidays exemplified! Thank you, both!!

  • Danielle Zendner said

    Wow! What a wonderful company opportunity to demonstrate its core community values! This heartfelt, giving experience that both you and Alex shared with us touches me beyond words. Kindness is contagious.

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