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Auto/Mate Employees Spread Holiday Cheer with Adopt-a-Family

It’s a long-standing tradition at Auto/Mate. Every year, employees hold several fundraisers and donate the proceeds to a fund that allows them to purchase holiday gifts for local families and seniors in need. “We’ve been doing this as long as I’ve been here, over 18 years,” said Kelly Shaw, payroll benefits manager.

This year, Auto/Mate has adopted four families and two seniors. Recipients were identified through the Rensselaer County Department of Social Services, a local preschool day care facility and the Epilepsy Foundation. The organizations send Auto/Mate a “wish list” of items from the families.

Auto/Mate employees go all out to make sure those wish lists are fulfilled. Fundraisers and benefits are held throughout the year, including barbecues and bake sales. “This year we hosted a wine exchange and our employees paid $5 to participate. We also collect soda cans,” Shaw said.

The dollars really add up. In December, volunteers are recruited to go shopping and to wrap all the gifts. “We make a party out of it,” Shaw said. “We play holiday music and Auto/Mate provides the pizza and soda.”

Gifts for the kids include toys, books, electronics, bicycles and warm clothes. “We really try to make sure the kids get everything on their list,” Shaw said. “We pick up stockings for them too. Stockings are a big deal for kids.”

The adults typically receive clothes, warm blankets, bathrobes and socks. “They don’t really ask for much,” Shaw said. “We try to include a few little luxuries.”

In addition to gifts, each family will receive a $150 gift certificate to Price Chopper, a local grocery store. Auto/Mate employees came up with the idea so that all of their adopt-a-families can have a nice holiday meal and buy some treats they might not otherwise be able to afford.

After the holidays, the families send Auto/Mate notes of gratitude. Recipients are often overwhelmed with the number of gifts they received. “This year, our employees stepped it up big time, their generosity is awesome,” Shaw said. “This is such a great company to work for. I’m hoping next year we may be able to take on another family.”

Happy Holidays to all of our employees, adopt-a-families, customers, partners and friends!


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