By: Clayton, External Affairs Intern
For the 26th consecutive year, The Toll Roads staff supported and brought cheer to families at Orange County’s Thomas House Family Shelter by fulfilling their holiday wish lists.
Thomas House Family Shelter is a non-profit organization that provides shelter and resources for homeless families. Thomas House provides a safe environment that allows families without housing to stay together while empowering them to become independent and self-sufficient.
Every December, Thomas House seeks to keep holiday traditions like gift-giving alive for these families. Each member of the family at the shelter fills out a wish list with items they hope to receive. The Toll Roads receives the lists and staff members volunteer to fulfill a wish list on their own time with their own money.
“I love to see the coordination efforts between colleagues to make the gift drive a success and spread cheer to families that need it the most,” said Virginia from TCA’s Environmental department. “The holiday spirit is so important — especially for children. What I love most is that it can forever impact someone and, in turn, help them spread awesome holiday spirit in the future. It can leave everlasting great memories that influence how a person will treat others and the holidays in the future.”
This year, The Toll Roads staff along with colleagues from Nossaman and Corridor Management Group fulfilled 40 wish lists for Thomas House residents including infants, children, teenagers and their parents. Lists included both necessities (shoes, toiletries, and warm jackets) and items that spark joy (art supplies, books and toys).
“I really enjoy finding people who are a similar age or have similar interests to me and fulfill their lists,” said Melissa from TCA’s Communications department. “It’s easy to get wrapped up in the holidays and it’s important to remember that it’s so easy to fall into a situation like these families. We should give back to our communities when we can.”
“I always pick wish lists for Thomas House residents who are the same age as my kids and we go shopping as a family,” said Marlene from TCA’s Toll Operations department. “Giving back is part of the holiday spirit and putting a smile on a child or older person’s face is the best, especially when you do it as a team of coworkers.”
To learn more about how you can support the Thomas House Family Shelter, visit thomashouseshelter.org.