Thanksgiving is the holiday that triggers everyone to take a step back and remember what they have to be grateful for – how blessed they are. We take for granted every day, just how fortunate we are! But not everyone is as blessed as we are. You never know what someone else is going through.
I know this from personal experience. After moving to NY from Texas, I was unable to rent an apartment – because I didn’t have a job history in the city. I spent the next 20 weeks looking for a place to live. The job came fairly quickly – about a month later, but I had to be creative to find a place to sleep… that was safe.
I rented other people’s homes who were away on vacation, using AirBnB — usually on a weekly basis. My tv, speakers, clothes, and two dogs would be packed up each weekend – unloaded – and then packed up again. Moving in day sounds like it would be a relief – but it was the most disorienting day of all. Even though you are blessed that you can lay your head down somewhere, it’s not your home; it belongs to someone else — that you don’t even know. And it’s only for a week. It was so stressful wondering if I would find a place the next week. I did this week after week. I was temping, so despite all this, I had to go to my job, with a smile on my face and focus. When I would leave the office, I would break down. I had no idea where I would live the next week – and I was barely making enough to pay AirBnB.
I joined MarkLogic as a full-time employee on June 1st. I was so happy. First, the people are great. Only a few people knew of my situation, and each one of them was extremely supportive. Secondly, my boss in San Francisco wanted me to make the office “more homey” for all the folks who came in and out of the metro area. If there was anything I was experienced in, it was making some place homey.
Then the countdown began. You see you have to wait for several paychecks before one has the proper documentation to begin looking to rent an apartment. On August 1st, two days after my birthday, I moved for the last time (for at least a couple years anyway!).
Fast forward to November and the holidays. I personally have so much to be thankful for, and thought about all the others out there who are going through transitions and dealing with the stress of homelessness, unemployment and hunger. I read about New York Common Pantry – and how for $30 they can feed an entire family – the turkey, the stuffing, and all the fixings. And I thought, I wonder what type of participation I would get if I asked my New York-based colleagues if they would want to help out.
And then this amazing thing happened… this idea took on a life of its own!!! After sending out an email to the team, the money started coming in like crazy!!!! Whenever I stepped away from my desk and returned, I would find cash/check donations just lying there with a note. I got emails that said “check under your keyboard” or “look under your mouse pad.” I started getting emails from colleagues that lived in other states letting me know they mailed a check. Colleagues from other MarkLogic locations substantially donated, as well. I had to order a cash box because the donations were coming in so quickly!!!
With all of this good fortune, I decided to push the envelope. I placed a request for the company to match the employee donations. Within a couple of hours I received an approval! I was shocked! I mean I didn’t actually believe they would do it, lol!
While the employee donations continued to come in, I had the opportunity to have a discussion with Gary Bloom, President and CEO. At the end of our conversation, I shared what we were doing with the NY Common Pantry and asked him if he would like to participate in our Thanksgiving Drive. Gary said yes and superseded my expectations with his donation.
It’s been a little over a week and a half and MarkLogic is currently feeding 120 families for the Thanksgiving holiday! That’s not just 120 people. That’s 120 families!!!! This is crazy! I mean, this is our first fundraiser. After sharing our numbers with NY Common Pantry, they were extremely grateful.
I’m leaving this experience grateful, but also impressed…
MarkLogic employees are simply remarkable. They saw a need and filled it with a simple request. It’s a really cool feeling knowing you work with people like this. Anyone can say anything. But MarkLogic employees put their money where their mouth is.
And I can’t be more grateful….