‘Tis the Season
The season of giving is off and running. I’m not talking about the mad rush to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, although the national shopping spree did drive online and mobile sales to record highs.
(Adobe Analytics estimated that cyber sales were up 16.8% to $50 billion for November as of the 27th, and they’re projecting $100 billion by end of the holiday season. And that doesn’t include brick-and-mortar).
While I’d like to think that the majority of those sales are for good old fashioned gift-giving and not just consumer bargain-hunting, I’m actually talking about non-shopping forms of altruism.
This is the time of year when many people make it a point to focus on those less fortunate than themselves. That is certainly the case here at Marcum. For example, last week we had our annual Day of Service, which is an initiative of the Marcum Foundation. 950 Marcum associates across the country spent the day before Thanksgiving collecting food donations at supermarkets, assembling care packages at local warehouses, serving meals at food bank kitchens, distributing food at local outreach organizations, and other activities that address hunger, to help make sure that more families in our communities would be able to enjoy the holiday. Even the rain in New York couldn’t keep our people down or out of the effort.
Last year my daughter Lily (8) and I worked at a food pantry in Harlem (NYC). This year, we both joined our South Florida offices at Feeding South Florida. We inspected, sorted, and packed food for delivery to those dependent on others for the basics — a meal. The hard work and dedication of our South Florida associates who participated was remarkable. We were proud to be working alongside them.
The Day of Service has become a highlight of the year for Marcum, and we close all of our offices so that all of our associates have the opportunity to participate. It may sound like a simple thing, but trust me, there are many, many moving parts, and every year our team manages to pull it off. This year’s numbers aren’t all in yet, but preliminary results indicate that total food poundage handled will be literally in the hundreds of thousands. Not only that, but many of our offices held their own food drives at work at the same time. I’m genuinely awed and inspired by the way everyone at our Firm steps up, and I take my hat off to all of them.
Another kick-starter was Giving Tuesday earlier this week. Our Melville, Long Island, office chose that day for a ceremony to present checks totaling $100,000 to the charity beneficiaries of the 2017 Marcum Workplace Challenge. This year’s gift brought the cumulative charity proceeds of our annual run-walk to more than $800,000, benefiting four Long Island nonprofits and the New York State Parks Department.
We’re just warming up. There’s more to come and more to give as the holiday season rolls onward. Marcum is privileged and honored to do what we can, and I’m sure that many of you reading this column are doing the same at your companies and at home with your families. Props to all of you!
As we count our blessings this holiday season, we always need to remember those less fortunate than ourselves.
Have a great weekend, everybody.