On December 3rd, Interra employees and guests had the opportunity to come together in person at the annual holiday party, our first event in a long time, due to the Pandemic. As part of this night of wonderful conversation and bonding, delicious food, dancing, company awards, and speeches, our President, Steve Isaf, took to the floor with four red envelopes and a bowl containing slips of paper. Above the quiet, and people listening with intent, a hand entered the bowl, pulled out a slip of paper and read, “Moses Lim.” Moses rose from his table and joined Steve on the floor, where he was asked to choose an envelope and read the contents to the crowd. He read, “To all USA employees who, as of Dec 3, 2021, had reached one year or more of service – $500. To all USA employees who, as of Dec 3, 2021, had less than one year of service – $250. Such amount to be included in the December 15th payroll.” Then, to the crowd’s surprise, Steve announced, “Double it!”, bringing the amounts to $1,000 and $500, respectfully. CFO Carol Taylor appeared equally surprised, which made the whole game even more riveting to the crowd.
A hand entered the bowl again, this time belonging to Moses Lim, and another name was read: “McKenzie Claiborne.” This time, McKenzie joined the group, picked a red envelope and read, “You have been selected by your teammate to assist them in representing the Interra Family for the selection of two charities. Such charities must share the values and mission of: Supporting Family, Developing the Individual, Fostering a Sense of Global and Personal Responsibility, and Supporting Education and Self-Initiative. Each to receive $2,500 for a total of $5,000! Such amount to be distributed before Christmas.” The room was all smiles.
Then, as Moses did before, McKenzie drew a name. “Clay Caldwell,” she read. Clay then joined the group on the floor. “Double It” we heard, as Clay read the message from his chosen envelope. This brought the total amount for charity to $10,000. Clay reached into the bowl of names, “Tatiana Correa”. She joined the group to select an envelope that read, “Double It!” At this point, the charity amount rose to a whopping $20,000 and the room rose to a murmur of support.
Steve turned to the group to suggest that they form a committee to identify and vet charities to support. As we all know, he is a man of many words…he continued to talk about how fortunate the Interra family was, that we have been able to weather the storm of the pandemic and all that has occurred in the past two years…and in a rush of inspiration, he shouted, “Double It!” This brought the total charity amount to $40,000, drawing wows and applause from the crowd.
Since this lovely evening of celebration, the four-person committee dedicated time to selecting quality charities that supported the values Steve had outlined, with guidance from the Charitable Givings Committee, who arranges the quarterly volunteer efforts.
With our support of these charities, we have:
- Helped families experiencing domestic violence to overcome their situation and find a new direction and healing path.
- Helped children who suffer from hearing loss, supporting their growth and development in a world that is built for the hearing.
- Made available a variety of services to those experiencing poverty, from helping them put food on the table or secure a job to provide for their family, to direct sponsorship of children in need.
- Assisted people (who otherwise may have not had the opportunity to get an education) to gain an experiential education and degree, as well as eco-agricultural knowledge base and skills to help them give back to their communities.
- Funded the search for a cure for childhood cancer, paving the way to save lives.
- Given families support and resources to care for a child with differences in learning and development, and giving them the opportunity to earn a university degree and achieve their potential.
Big thanks to Steve for the donations and to everyone who worked to make this idea a reality, making a difference in the lives of many people, locally and around the world!