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Posted on: December 20, 2012

Pierce County employees celebrate the holidays by giving to the community


Employees from throughout Pierce County gave back to the community this holiday season with a variety of fun holiday activities.

Planning and Land Services collected $550 (22 - $25 gift cards) for this year’s Adopt-A-Family program.

Pierce County Jail staff traditionally adopts a family each year, but plans got away from them. Instead, they adopted “one of their own.” A staff member in the kitchen who was struggling to make ends meet was given a $1,000 cashier’s check. She was beyond surprised and humbled.

Community Connections Fiscal and Contracts voted to Adopt-a-Family in lieu of a gift exchange between staff. They adopted a family of six. Those who participated were able to fulfill the wish list and give the family a $140 VISA gift card and $45 for a Walmart gift card.

The Auditor’s Office led the effort to collect $238 in gift cards for the Adopt-A-Family program. 38 percent of the staff in the department participate in some capacity to help feed the homeless regularly through a coordinated effort with Catholic Community Services, a partner agency with United Way. Since May, they’ve served over 650 people.

For several years staff of the Economic Development Department have drawn each others’ names, in which gifts of toys are bought for that person – that remind the giver of that person. The toys are then donated to a group. For the past few years the Crystal Judson Center has received the toys. Clients can then “shop” for a Christmas gift for their little ones!

Department of Assigned Counsel participates in Adopt- A- Family every year thanks to their legal assistant, Kriston McDonough.

The Information Technology Department is collecting donations for the Emergency Food Network. At last count they were up to $825 and their campaign ends Dec. 20.

Each year, Pierce County Santa Cops, a charity formed and administered by members of the Sheriff’s Department provide food, household essentials, new children’s clothing and new toys to over 100 families in Pierce County (so far this year our referral count is at 114 families with 314 children). On the designated delivery night, sheriff’s deputies deliver the items to the unsuspecting families. They’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of help gathering donations, especially by staff at the ESB and WWTP.

Each year the Executive’s Office and Communications Departments participate in the Adopt-A-Family program. This year they adopted a family of four. $450 was donated and Santa’s elves (aka Connie Perry and Danni Colo) did the shopping, which included clothes, shoes, toys, and bake ware and goods. The family was also given a $170 Fred Meyer gift card and waffle maker.

Facilities Management adopted a family through Community Connections, providing them with the gift of clothing, toys, stockings and $300 worth of gift cards.

Superior Court also adopted a family thanks to “elves” Judge Ronald Culpepper, Katrina Smith, Angie Edwards and Karla Johnson. They collected all the presents the family requested and a cash donation which was used to purchase gift cards and other goodies for the family.

Public Works and Utilities staff have donated their time and resources this holiday season to give back to the community.

The Tacoma Mall Campus enjoyed feasting on a potluck breakfast burrito bar and purchased tickets for mystery prizes raffled off by the managers. The event raised $682 for the Crystal Judson Foundation in addition to three boxes of donated goods.

The first floor of the Tacoma Mall Plaza participated in Community Connection’s Adopt-a-Family program. Staff members brought in clothes, toys, blankets and more for their adopted family of six.

The ESB and WWTP participated in the Pierce County Santa Cops program, donating food, children’s gifts and other necessities to Pierce County families in need.

The ESB held the 3rd annual Movember Soup Luncheon to support efforts to raise awareness about prostate cancer during the month of November. The month featured men across the nation growing mustaches to raise awareness. At least 12 employees grew mustaches (up from two the first year). The lunch raised $575 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Airport and Ferry staff helped coordinate the 19th Annual Gig Harbor Thanksgiving Basket Brigade at the Tacoma Narrows Airport. The event provided nearly 500 families with supplies for holiday meals. The division will also help coordinate holiday distribution efforts at the airport by the Forgotten Children’s Fund, which provides gifts to families in need.

The Traffic Division and Equipment Services held their annual “Drive for Success” food drive competition, which brought in 209 lbs. of food and $1,019 to benefit the Emergency Food Network. Congrats to the Traffic Engineering Group for winning the competition this year. Road Operations staff collected food for the Crystal Judson Foundation.

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