A Time to Give
Raytheon employees are letting their generosity shine in December
They’re buying bicycles and other gifts for military families. They’re putting care packages together for troops abroad. And like elves in Santa’s workshop, they’re even building wooden toys to give children a little holiday joy.
Raytheon employees are letting their spirit of generosity shine in December with a host of volunteer efforts across the country, many them aimed at helping members of the armed services and veterans. At least one project will send some cheer halfway around the world.
Here’s a sampling of their wide-ranging efforts:
- Santa’s Lab: Employees and their families will join to make handmade gifts including blankets, wooden cars, stacking blocks, jewelry trees and bracelets for children in the Tennessee Valley.
- Hope Place: Employees will help put together care packages including blankets, stuffed animals and books, for children who come to Hope Place, an emergency shelter for victims of domestic abuse in Huntsville, Alabama.
- Care packages to Kuwait: Employees are gathering hand warmers, snacks and other items to send to a U.S. Army unit stationed at Camp Afifjan, Kuwait. Among the members of that troop: a Raytheon employee who is on leave this year to serve on active duty. He specifically asked his colleagues to send children’s books so he and his fellow soldiers can record themselves reading them, then send the DVD home to their children.
- Operation Warmheart: Employees will collect toys, clothes and gift certificates to donate to military families at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. In a separate but similar effort, employees in Tucson also gathered gift cards for homeless teens through the organization Youth on Their Own.
- Teddy Bear Drive: Employees donated teddy bears of all shapes and sizes at company sites in St. Petersburg, Florida and Largo, Florida. Several organizations including The Salvation Army, veterans’ hospitals and shelters for victims of domestic violence will distribute them to children.
Operation Santa Claus (OpSanta): Employees in El Paso, Texas, donated more than 400 toys, along with a $2,000 grant to buy children’s bicycles, to the Fort Bliss Operation Santa Claus program. The drive benefits about 2,000 military families below the rank of specialist, as well as about 800 families through the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- Casa de los Ninos: Employees will gather school supplies for children at Casa de los Niños, a non-profit that cares for abused and neglected children in Tucson, Arizona.
- Coat and blanket drives: Employees in Louisville, Kentucky led a coat drive to benefit the homeless and military veterans. In a similar effort, employees in Largo, Florida and St. Petersburg, Florida, will deliver blankets to Pinellas Hope, a temporary emergency shelter.
- Wreaths Across America: Employees in Orlando, Florida will hop on motorcycles and escort a convoy of wreaths to the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. Volunteers place the wreaths on veterans’ graves.
- Operation Homefront Giving Quilt: Employees will donate gift cards from gas stations, popular retailers and restaurants and place them in special “Giving Quilts” at Raytheon offices around the country. The organization Operation Homefront will distribute the cards to military families. Last year’s drive raised more than $7,000.
- Angel Trees: Employees in Aurora, Colorado and Dulles, Virginia will provide presents through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Contributors pick ornaments from the tree, each bearing the first name of a child and a description of an item that child has requested.
Many of this year’s activities were coordinated by employee groups such as the Raytheon Women’s Network and RAYVETS. Others, such as the care packages to Kuwait, came up more spontaneously – and they reflect employees’ willingness to help wherever needed.
"The support and enthusiasm we got, especially from leadership and our peers, was outstanding,” said Tom Lydon, who initiated the idea. “It wasn't a question of should, it's a question of how.”