Richmond org gets generous gift from Oakland office

The employees at Keenan and Associates in Oakland really got into the holiday spirit, collecting items to make hygiene kits for a Richmond organization that helps the homeless.

keenan1A Richmond charity helping the Bay Area’s homeless received a whopping 115 hygiene packets from an Oakland insurance brokerage firm that wanted to get more hands-on with its latest holiday charity effort.

The Bay Area Rescue Mission at 200 Macdonald Ave. was extremely appreciative of the generous donation from the employees at the Oakland offices of Keenan and Associates, reportedly California’s largest independent insurance broker.

According to Keenan employee Shawna Tabilang, the Oakland office chooses a local charity to support every holiday season and typically collects money to donate or participates in a food drive. This time, however, the office’s holiday planning committee, which included Tabilang, Jena Saceldo and Cesar Zepeda, wanted to do something that would allow employees to participate more in the donations process.

The committee did some research, found the Bay Area Rescue Mission’s hygiene kit drive and sprung into action.

“In addition to asking thkeenanthxem to bring in new hygiene related products, we asked our employees to sign holiday cards to put into each hygiene/care packet,” Tabilang said.  “We also had a few employees volunteer their lunch hour on various days during December to either go shopping for hygiene products with any monetary donations received, or to put together the individual care packets.  We also encouraged our employees who travel a lot to bring back their hotel toiletries to include in our donations.”

Nearly everyone in the office of about 40 employees made donations, Tabilang said.

“Our goal was to make 100 care packets, and we just passed the goal with 115 care packets,” she said. “For our small office, this was a fun and personally-rewarding event that was a success.”

According to the Bay Area Rescue Mission, “A simple, small bag of personal care items goes a long way to show others care about giving them a second chance they need, deserve.”