Salvation Army, Symbiotix show Christmas synergy

December 13, 2004|KATIE McBRIDE

Symbiotix, Inc. celebrates the holidays with more than a company Christmas party. It annually gives its time and money to the Salvation Army's Christmas projects to help those in need have a happy holiday.

By participating in the Angel Tree, bell-ringing and distributing donations, Symbiotix, a medical marketing and education company in Danville, makes use of this "great opportunity to give back to our community," said Laura Hoffman, director of operations.

"We try to help out in a number of ways." said Jo Ann Rice, president and chief operating officer, and a member of the Salvation Army advisory board.

One day a year, two to three employees at a time will take one-hour shifts and ring the bell outside local stores to raise money for the Salvation Army's many projects. They also adopt a forgotten angel from the Angel Tree. The forgotten angels provide toys for families who may have signed up late or have not had anyone turn in gifts for them.


"Salvation Army can use these gifts as they see fit," explained Rice.

Employees also take off from work to help with distributing the Angel Tree gifts and the other toys and food baskets purchased with the kettle money.

Helping with the gift pickup has become central to their holiday season.

"My favorite part is the gift distribution and giving the family this opportunity to have a happy holiday and enjoy the experience with their children," said Hoffman.

Rice said that it's not difficult to get her employees involved.

"It's not like I have to come in and beg for volunteers," she explained. "They look forward to it."

But her admiration doesn't end with her employees' generous spirit.

"I truly believe in what the Salvation Army does. It's the best-run charity and faith-based organization. I'm amazed at what they do throughout the course of the year."

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