HMS holiday gifts Dec 2015 with betsy and monicaWhen it comes to holiday giving, employees at HMS Host always go the extra mile to put smiles on the faces of children in our Friends in Action family mentoring program.

Each winter, HMS Host puts up an “angel tree” decorated with tags indicating the wishes of Friends in Action children, and generous HMS employees shop to make the wishes come true. It is one of the many reasons we recognized HMS Host as our Corporate Partner of the Year at the Companies Caring Breakfast last year.

HMS Host’s Gina Smith and Haia Perlmutter, human resources teammates and the elves-in-chief who run the holiday giving program, said this year, there were many special moments.

One little girl had asked for a specific type of Lego building set to add to what she already had. That proved difficult to find because it was no longer being made. The toy she already owned turned out to have come from a fast-food restaurant kids’ meal giveaway years ago. But that didn’t deter a retired HMS employee who loves to take part in the giving program.

He hunted high and low on-line and finally came up with two boxes of the toys so the young girl would get exactly what she asked for. “He’s not even an employee anymore and he went above and beyond,” Haia said.

Another girl, 13, had simply requested a SmartCard to help herself and her family get around using public transportation. “That was all she wanted,” said Gina. “That really touched my heart. Her want was really a need.”

A young boy wanted a football because he is a huge fan of the Washington team and quarterback Kirk Cousins. So he got more than just a football — he got a Kirk Cousins jersey.

We are grateful to HMS Host employees and the many, many individuals, families, congregations and businesses who brightened this year’s winter holidays for those in need. Thank you!