Two associates at our corporate office, Reese Louis and Camber Grant, spent this past Valentine’s Day doing something truly heartwarming. As they were thinking about this special day, they decided to do something non-traditional. No dinner, movie, chocolates, or flowers. Not even jewelry. Instead, they opted to give Valentine’s Day cards to kids in need.
They chose First Place in Seattle, a school which assists homeless children from Kindergarten through 6th grade. The school nurtures children by providing the knowledge, support, and care a child needs to help them during hardship. The school also helps parents with housing support and more. With 49 students at First Place, Reese and Camber set a goal to collect five cards for each child. What started as a simple idea to spread love and support quickly became so much more.
As they began telling friends and family, word spread like wildfire. Donations of cards poured in from everywhere. Soon after, they presented their plan at the weekly Ben Bridge morning staff meeting. Other associates quickly got involved by donating cards, snack packs, fruit snacks, juice boxes, candy, and Benny Bears. An Alderwood Mall Ben Bridge associate donated hand sanitizer, chocolates, Kleenex, and $500 in McDonalds gift cards. The Westfield Southcenter Ben Bridge store collected crayons, coloring books from Rainforest Cafe, and toys. A long-time customer that had stopped into a store asked about the story and donated $100 to the cause without hesitation. A couple Ben Bridge associates coordinated with their dentists to donate toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss. Getting 350 cards signed was tricky but the whole corporate office joined in the effort to help write a personal message for each child. With the remaining donations, Reese and Camber bought bulk food, 14 pairs of shoes from Payless, dozens of t-shirts, 80 pairs of socks from REI, and a small toy for every child.
The simple idea of giving cards turned into 49 well-stocked “Goodie Bags” which were hand-delivered on February 14th. The look in the children’s eyes made all of the countless hours collecting, wrapping, packing, signing, and personalizing well worth the effort. It was a moment two Ben Bridge associates will remember forever and it wouldn’t have happened without the help of their friends and family. The children couldn’t have been happier and the teachers were amazed at the donations. They were so thankful that the children could forget about their struggles – if even for one blissful day. Ben Bridge Jeweler couldn’t be more proud of Reese and Camber who have proved to be more than exemplary employees – they are outstanding citizens as well.