| By Cristal Costello |
There are three things that I am passionate about: my family, my community, and my career. Gale provides me with amazing opportunities to balance my passions, including giving back to the community. For the last three years, I have been part of Gale’s Farmington Hills Campus Association. The committee works collaboratively to organize fun company events and community outreach programs by partnering with local foundations and school districts.
This holiday season I was honored to organize and lead Gale’s holiday fundraiser for Higher Hopes!, a Detroit based charitable foundation that partners with Early Head Start Child Care Programs to provide meal kits to poverty-stricken families. The fundraiser’s goal was to raise money to assist Higher Hopes! in their goal to provide 4,000 Summer Meal Kits in Detroit. The sad truth is that sometimes the only healthy meal a child will have throughout the day is the one they have while they are at school. The mobile pantry provides healthy meals to the children and their families when school is out for the summer.
After Gale became a corporate sponsor of Higher Hopes!, the fundraising ideas were endless. A collaborative group of my peers and I decided on a fun holiday fundraising event that would drive donations with some friendly competition amongst our executive team. The fundraiser ran for two weeks between Thanksgiving and Gale’s Farmington Hills Holiday Party. Each executive had a 5-gallon water jug assigned to them and the jugs were placed in the building’s cafeteria. The idea was that we would collect monetary donations—anything from spare change to bills—with the stakes being that the executive that collects the most money in their jug at the end of the fundraising event would be required to sing karaoke (a song voted on by Gale employees) at our holiday party.
The fundraiser was a success, we raised over $1,100 for Higher Hopes Mobile Pantry, and Gale matched the employees’ donations. The competition heated up in the last two hours allowing us to double the amount we initially had ensuring that our Vice President of Software Development, Jason Swafford, would be our frontrunner and our holiday party entertainer. The song that Jason sang during our holiday party is I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred (selected by the 400+ employees at the Gale Farmington Hills Office). With the collaborative spirit of Gale Jason had volunteer back up dancers to help him get through his song and cheered on by the rest of the executives.
The executive team at Gale is truly one of a kind. They were such good sports about participating in the Higher Hopes! fundraiser and helped build excitement and drive competition against one another throughout the office. Their encouragement for team members to challenge themselves not only through their current roles but also through community engagement and personal development makes Gale a great company to work for. It enables me, and my colleagues, to balance family, community, and career.