Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone - Charles M. Schulz
Christmas is the time of giving and we continue into our December Charity Champion in the #RUDstory series. The #RUDstory is about our employees, the charities they support each month, the values they hold dear, and their experience of teamwork, challenges and motivation at RUD.
#meetSallyanne - The RUD December Charity Champion on making a difference to children during Christmas through the #BeAnElf organisation.
Sallyanne Byrne works in Sales at Brisbane and is very passionate about giving to the community. The People & Culture team sat down with Sallyanne to understand why she is passionate about Christmas and how RUD is helping the community through this charity.
What is the charity and how do they serve the community?
BE AN ELF connects local children in need with businesses during the Christmas season. The children vary from new-born to fifteen years (some of the fifteen-year-old are local homeless youths who need some love). Not having food to eat or being homeless is a sign of poverty. All too often poverty is hidden ‐ and it is hard for many ordinary Australians to comprehend, let alone understand its impact.
For the last 16 years in December, BE AN ELF volunteers read letters written by children to Santa and arrange gift bags for distribution. The letters are mostly written by local kids or their mums or dads asking for 'new shoes', ' bed sheets’, ‘pillow' or other necessities.
The Wish Letter helps everyday Aussies like us to see what it means to be underprivileged. The Wish Letters are matched to the gifts by volunteer elves like the team at RUD Chains. We pick a few items from the list and then send it back to the ELF HEADQUARTERS to dispatch to families through Volunteer Deliverers by Christmas Eve.
Why is this charity important to you?
BE AN ELF is an opportunity for me and my family to give back to society and to children in need. I love the support of my RUD work colleagues who are very generous. With COVID and increasing homelessness, the gift of giving is a small token that the RUD team and I can do to make a child feel loved on Christmas day.
I would love to see a well-balanced society and help children out of their impoverished upbringing. This is very important to me because it empowers me with a sense of worth during one of the most magical days of the year. And it all starts with a Wish Letter.
The founder of BE AN ELF once told me, they delivered a Wish Letter to a family whose child requested a block of cheese and the child cried on receiving the cheese (which brought tears to my eyes). We also had child request a can of Aeroguard this year and a good painting book to paint pictures to sell to help his mum pay the bills. These are some of the things we take for granted and it saddens me that there are children suffering loneliness, frustration, and self‐doubt. Christmas is the time of giving and through BE AN ELF, I want them to feel special like every child on this day.
What does the contributions of RUD and the wider community have on helping this cause?
When a child receives a gift which is the item they asked in the Wish Letter, the big smile is the reward. Nothing can replace the feeling you get when granting a wish such as a new pair of black school shoes or a Barbie or a pair of new undies (to replace the ones that were holey and pre-worn). The difference we make at RUD through the BE AN ELF is the empowering contribution to society’s vulnerable and smallest members who most of the time end up neglected because they do not have a voice.
Any other comments on the charity?
I love spearheading the BE AN ELF and encouraging all my colleagues at RUD to contribute more wish letters. It makes me proud to working with generous colleagues for the same cause, making Christmas the most magical day of the year for all.
Interested to join the team?
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