While many workplaces engaged in festivities and competitions to get employees in the holiday spirit this year, employees at the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support in Philadelphia went a little further to embrace the spirit of giving.
A workplace-wide competition to create festive holiday displays using non-perishable goods culminated on Dec. 20 as a team of judges, led by DLA Troop Support Commander Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, thanked employees for their efforts both at work and in their charitable donations to the Emergency Relief Association Food Pantry of Lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
“I am grateful for what you all do every day for the Warfighter and our nation,” Lawrence said to employees. “But the greatest thanks today are for what you have done in the spirit of the holidays to support our local communities in need.”
In the beginning of December, Lawrence challenged the workforce with a goal of creating displays consisting of non-perishable food items to be part of a competition to further enhance the positive workplace culture and give back to the community.
The inspiration, he said, came from DLA Troop Support Executive Officer Susan Schafer, who has been a part of the organization’s holiday decorating competitions through the years.
“I was thinking, ‘What can we do that’s different this year,’” Schafer said. “And it all of the sudden just came to me. We’ll do the decorations, and the decorations will be with food. Non-perishable food donations. And we’ll donate it to a shelter.”
The concept was embraced by employees, and seven groups joined the competition, submitting displays ranging from a simple hearth to a mini holiday village built with hundreds of cans and boxes of non-perishable food.
When it was all said and done, the judges ranked the top three displays to be:
- First place - the Industrial Hardware supply chain’s “CAN-dytopia”
- Second place - Subsistence supply chain’s “Home or away: Subsistence is there”
- Third place - Business Process Support staff office’s Peanuts-themed holiday display
Though the total donations are not officially tallied, IH contract specialist Taylor Fontana says her supply chain’s display inspired a lot of donations.
“(IH) loved the idea of food donations to build the display,” Fontana said. “We made it an internal competition, and our total was over 2,000 non-perishable items.”
Lawrence, while judging the displays alongside his wife Rebecca and DLA Troop Support Deputy Commander Richard Ellis, thanked participating offices for their efforts and donations, wishing each a safe and happy holiday season.
“I am impressed by what you all have accomplished this calendar year, and by the spirit of giving you have clearly embraced in this competition,” Lawrence said. “And I am proud to lead this great organization, whose workforce provides stellar Warfighter and community support.”