One of Hungary’s most successful fundraising initiatives is the Baptist Relief Service’s “Shoebox Actions”. In December 2021, despite the difficulties caused by the epidemic, many people stepped up to help, and 50,930 gifts were finally donated to children in need. The team at Process Solutions is also delighted to help ensure that as many children in need as possible receive a Christmas surprise package. This is our 10th year of active involvement in the initiative.
Social Life at PS, Shoebox Action, Fundraising, PS Hungary, Baptist Relief Service
We asked Dániel Sáhó, partner at PS, to give us a look back and an evaluation of the last 9 years, as he is the coordinator of the Shoebox Actions at Process Solutions.
How did you get in touch with the Baptist Relief Service’s “Shoebox Action”?
In November 2013 we received an email from our HR team asking us to get together and help… That’s when I first read about the Christmas Shoebox Action. There was no question that I would join this initiative to bring joy to children in need. Every year we made parcels with my team members and independently, and I was delighted to read in the company-wide feedback that for every Christmas in the first few years, our staff made 30-40 parcels.
I also helped deliver the collected parcels to the collection point on a couple of occasions, which allowed me to get even closer to the initiative. But the real big step to become more active in supporting the fundraising came in 2017. Process Solutions joined the Kicsipakk initiative, so the company was looking for a new person to coordinate the Shoebox Actions, which I was happy to do.
What does this organiser role entail?
My main tasks are to manage the preparatory communication and coordinate the collection and then deliver the boxes to the organisers who distribute them to the children.
What do you feel has been your biggest achievement in recent years?
The fact that more and more employees feel the importance of fundraising! The PS team’s commitment to the initiative is shown by the fact that in 2018, several of our managers’ teams have included the packing of boxes in their team-building programmes, which shows the importance and popularity of the action. The large number of donations has also been a welcome “logistical” challenge, as we had to be very careful not to damage the beautifully wrapped gifts during the transport of the 99 boxes collected at the end of 2018. Of course, I was happy to help solve this problem.
Nearly 100 gift boxes is a significant achievement! What else do you look back on with pleasure in the 6 years you have been coordinating collections at PS?
The initiative reached its peak in 2019, when we received major support from two sources. We received 50 pairs of shoes and empty boxes from an external donor. We wrapped these with the staff as part of PS Social Responsibility Day, along with individual donations and gifts purchased by PS. The result was nearly 130 boxes, over the 50 pairs of shoes donated!
How much has the Covid outbreak affected the organization or the effectiveness of the action?
We have continued with Covid, but unfortunately the epidemic is affecting our options. At PS, we prioritise the health of our staff, so we have adapted our work schedule and expected less personal presence in the office. With this in mind, we did not, and could not organise joint, face-to-face packing, which in our experience has always increased the willingness to donate. So it was not surprising that fewer donations were collected, but we still offered more than half a hundred boxes of donations. Presumably, the total donations from our staff is more than that, as it is now possible to donate online from home.
What are your plans for the future?
–In 2022, we’ll have our 10th anniversary action at PS… Seeing the success of the previous occasions and the cheerfulness and positive feedback from the boxers, there’s no question of supporting the initiative in the future. I encourage everyone to join in and bring joy to children in need. Even a little kindness can bring them great joy. Thanks in advance.
On behalf of the PS team, thank you for your organizing work.😊