Yesterday will be a day I remember for many years to come. It embodied everything I’ve been working for as a business owner – giving back to others. I realize that this may sound like a weird goal to have, but it is one of the strongest driving forces that propels me to keep waking up at 3am and working hard. Yesterday, I got to give in two spectacular ways.
Yesterday marked the first time Bisousweet has been able to donate money to an organization, and I could not be more proud.
We started a new campaign of giving back, called Give2. Every month, we pick a winner from the people who have signed up to receive our monthly newsletters. This winner not only receives a box of treats, but gets to pick a food charity to which Bisousweet makes a donation of $100 in the winner’s name. We picked our first winner, and shipped out not only her box of goodies, but also a check for $100 made out to the St. John’s Food for the Poor Program located in Worcester, MA. $100 may not be much, but it’s a start. One year from today, I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that I was able to give $1,200 to help sustain those around us.
I’ve made a lot of dessert donations over the years to dozens of different organizations: local schools, the Acton Boxborough United Way, the PMC, We-Can on the Cape, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, Girl Scout troops, child care centers, Smile Mass, PMC Kids Rides, the Council on Aging in Boxborough, churches and temples, Veteran’s Day breakfasts, youth sports teams, food pantries, community suppers and now, thanks to the New England Patriot’s Charitable Foundation, to the New England Patriot’s Thanksgiving Dinner in a basket program.
Later in the afternoon, the glow continued as Eddie, Erica and I drove into Boston to the Morgan Memorial Goodwill, where we were able to witness the gift of community support in action. There were tables lined with laundry baskets donated by Sterilite, and the baskets were overflowing with everything a family might need to make Thanksgiving dinner. Peeking out from the top each basket was a hot pink ribbon that was wrapped around our chocolate tea bread. Further down, a container of pumpkin doughnut muffins was squeezed in next to a holiday pie. Knowing that we were able to help make 240 families’ holiday experience a bit sweeter filled me with such joy…it was overwhelming.
We listened as Robert Kraft welcomed everyone and carried out the first basket of the evening.
Not too far behind Mr. Kraft, some Patriot’s players lined up to help escort each family outside with their dinner basket.
But, before you think I’m a completely selfless person, please let me remind you that this is not true. I could not wait to watch this event from the sidelines, but I also had a secret job to do. I was on a mission otherwise known as Operation Rugelach. I have wanted to send Mr. Kraft some rugelach for so many years, and this night just may have been my one and only opportunity. I packaged the rugelach, wrote a note to Mr. Kraft, put it in a little gift bag and carried it around with me for most of the night. Halfway through the night, Mr. Kraft left, and I was ready to accept failure.
I had the pleasure of meeting his son, Josh. Because I’m socially inept, I chatted with Josh and kept the bag behind me on the floor, unsure what to do. When our conversation ended, Josh turned away and started talking to a staff member from the Goodwill. I turned to look toward Erica and Eddie. Eddie had his palms facing up toward the ceiling, and Erica stood tall with her hands on her hips. Both looked at me in disbelief. ‘Now or never Karen.’
This is when I started to sweat.
I somehow managed to get up the guts to gently tap Josh’s shoulder, offered him the bag, and asked him to do me a favor. (As an extroverted introvert, this almost put me over the edge.) His eyebrows perked up when he heard the word ‘rugelach’, which made me both happy & nervous. We joked that he may not be the best delivery person, and I guess I’ll just have to trust that he’ll come through from me.
Josh – I know you can do this. I’m counting on you!
The evening ended with more happy Patriots volunteers carrying out dinner baskets and Pat the Patriot making kids & adults smile.
You know those days that are so good that you wake up the next morning, still smiling about it? Well, that’s how good yesterday was for me. It didn’t matter that my alarm went off at 2am this morning or that I have another hectic day ahead of me, because what I was able to do and witness yesterday will sustain me for many many days to come.