For many people, the holidays are a season filled with good tidings and cheer. Think “sipping an oversized mug of hot cocoa by the fire while yet another Hallmark movie plays on in the background” type of cheer. But for those less fortunate, the holidays can be a time of anxiety, sadness, and so many other emotions when they’re unable to provide their families with gifts beyond their means. In the spirit of the season, Saphire Event Group once again held their annual SEG Gives Back charitable initiative (see last year’s recap here).
Calling on the communities surrounding their wedding venues, SEG accepts nominations of families that may be in need of a little extra cheer during the holiday season. Once the families have been chosen, SEG staff reaches out and gets the children’s wish lists from their parents. The team then hits up their local Target store to shop for and wrap a plethora of gifts for some very special people that may not have received anything otherwise (yes, even the adults!).
With many nominations and tons of heartbreaking stories received, it can be extremely difficult to narrow down the selection. So this year, Saphire Event Group decided to spread a little extra cheer for SEG Gives Back. In the past, there were four families chosen to receive $500 worth of holiday gifts. This year, a record number of eight families were selected!
For the Saphire Event Group staff, SEG Gives Back is a program they look forward to all year long. From hearing the family’s stories to learning more about their favorite things from their lists, and then shopping for and wrapping all the gifts, it’s impossible not to feel a connection with each and every recipient, despite the fact that most of them never get the chance to meet.
Keep reading to hear more from the families that were chosen for SEG Gives Back 2019. Check out some fun photos of our annual shopping excursion!
The entire SEG staff gathers in the morning at Saphire Estate to learn about the families that were chosen. Divided into teams, each group is assigned a captain and given their matching t-shirts to wear for the day. Addressing the staff, Saphire Event Group co-owner and proprietor Amie Saphire reads off the nominations and informs the group of what presents the children are requesting.
Let the Games Begin
After splitting into teams, SEG staffers head off to Target, armed with each family’s list (and coffee!). While it’s technically not a contest, the teams are given a time limit and a budget in which to purchase as many gifts as they can for each family.
With budgets in mind, the teams comb through each aisle searching for the perfect presents. While most of the parents ask for nothing for themselves, our staffers can’t help but throw in a little something extra for them!
Ring It Up
The moment of truth! Once the team is satisfied with their picks, they head to the register to cash out. Each team is given a dollar number to work with for the family they shop for. Now it’s time to see if their math was correct and if they’ve stayed on budget!
As is tradition, the SEG staff poses for a big group photo before exiting the store. It’s fun to look back and see how much the company has grown over the years and how many more employees are now involved in this amazing holiday tradition!
To Saphire Estate We Go
The first half our our shopping event is completed, but there’s still so much more to do! SEG staff quickly heads back to the parking lot so they can pack up all the fun purchases they made and head back to our holiday headquarters – Saphire Estate in Sharon!
After enjoying a delicious holiday lunch, the staff gets to work! With a record eight families chose this year, that means tons of wrapping paper, tape, ribbons – you name it! The new separate cocktail space at Saphire Estate magically transforms into a mini-Santa’s Workshop. Just call us your holiday elves!
The Best Gift
After all the wrapping is completed, arrangements are made to coordinate the delivery of the gifts to each family. While knowing that we helped make someone’s day just a little bit brighter is more than we could ever ask for, we’re honored that so many of the SEG Gives Back families take the time to send notes of thanks to the staff after the fact so we can hear how everyone liked their gifts!
Check out some of the comments we received from recipients of this program (including a former SEG bride!):
“As I stood in front of the tree Christmas Eve and looked at the wave of gifts underneath it, my whole being was immersed in the love of complete strangers and the anticipation of sharing that love and joy the next morning with my children. The excitement and absolute happiness my kids exuded on Christmas morning was so real and unimaginably healing for me. It filled me with hope that everything, even the rough patches in life, may be used for a greater good. Your company’s generosity and kindness did more for me and my family that I can put into words.”
“There really are no words that could describe how your generosity and pure kindness has impacted our Christmas, and frankly, our family as a whole. The gifts were amazing – the kids and I felt like royalty! Each gift was wrapped so well – if Santa has real elves, they work with you! They had such a great day. They haven’t stopped commenting on each gift they use every day and it continues to make them smile.”
“My daughter loved the gifts so much, you all made her so happy – I can’t thank you enough! I knew when I chose Saphire for our venue that it was special. It’s not just a venue or a place of memories, but so much more. Thank you is not enough, but I just can’t find the words to express my gratitude to our SEG family!”
A huge thank you to proprietors Jon and Amie Saphire for their continuous generosity and support of this program!
Want to check out previous SEG Gives Back recap posts? Click below!