Custom design firm California Closets has been donating to BGCBigs for the past five years. Jennifer VanTeeling the Sales Manager for the company was a Boys & Girls Club staff member while she was going to university.
“When I was looking for work after university and after I left the Club, I still wanted to be able to help people. In my job with California Closets we help individuals and companies get more organized and that has an impact on their lives.”
According to Jennifer, small changes can make a big difference. California Closets will design custom storage solutions for people’s homes and offices. Typically, it starts with a free consultation and ends with a beautiful and functional addition that ends up reducing stress in the long run.
As a locally owned and operated company, the owners and upper management want to be involved in their community.
“I’ve always kept in touch with the Club and wanted to figure out if there was a way we could help support the kids and their families,” Jennifer explains. “I know Christmas can be a difficult time for some of the families. Maybe they can’t afford a holiday meal or presents for the kids. We decided that we could give back at that time of year and give a couple of families the type of Christmas that our clients have. That rang true for us.”
And so it started. For the last few years California Closets hosts a loonie auction to fundraise with their staff, friends, and family. It’s a great excuse for people to get together leading up to Christmas and also raise a substantial amount of money – typically in the range of $2500. Then our BGCBigs staff recommend families who could benefit, grab their wish lists, and California Closets goes out and makes those wishes come true.
“It’s nice to do something that brings our community together, especially at Christmas time,” Jennifer says. “And we feel like we are making a difference in the community.”
This year, California Closets was able to make a difference in the lives of two of our families. Janice is the mom of one of those families. She has three kids and she said that this Christmas would have been extremely difficult without the donation from California Closets.
“They were so generous; our kids got everything they wanted,” Janice tells us.
Jennifer and her team hunted down an X-Box controller, headset, and game, a monogramed pillow and wearable blanket, Shopkins, socks, a gift card to Michaels, and a gift card to an online clothing store. Plus, they also asked Janice what she needed.
“Our family really needed a TV and some money for groceries so they gave us both” Janice shares. “Now we can sit down and watch movies together. It makes a big difference in our family.”
One of Jennifer’s favourite moments was from two Christmas’ ago, when the only thing a little boy put on his list was a bicycle. That year, their budget was only $100 per kid.
“We made it our mission to get him a cool and awesome bike,” Jennifer says. “When his mom picked it up she was so happy. That moment really stuck with me as being important.”
California Closets is also working to provide support to the Club as a whole to impact more children. They gave us a gift certificate so we could buy new office desks and are currently trying to get us a foosball table and some more board games into the Club.
BGCBigs isn’t the only cause California Closets supports. They also work with WIN House, Sport Central, Dress for Success, Suit Yourself, Dickinsfield Amity House, and Alberta Alzheimer’s Society to name a few.
We believe our entire community benefits from caring companies like California Closets. When a company focuses its energy around helping all people and not just their direct clients, big things can happen. Thank you to California Closets on behalf of the many families impacted by their generosity.