To lighten the weight of the season for local community members and make it merry and bright, BAE Systems employees made a big impact by volunteering with and donating to charitable partner organizations across the country. From local toy drives and feeding the hungry, to remembering our fallen heroes, they not only participated in the season’s gift giving, but also gave back in remarkable ways. Let’s have a look!
We recognize those who serve our military make tremendous sacrifices, especially during the holiday season when they can be separated during from their families. Once again, we were proud to be a major sponsor for USOMetro’s Project Elf. This is the third year we supported this important USO program that provides children of junior-enlisted service members in need with age-appropriate holiday gifts that were included on their “wish lists.” Our employees participated by “adopting” more than 200 children and providing them with presents from their wish list. Employees also volunteered at the events and helped spread holiday cheer by welcoming parents into a festive holiday setting, wrapping gifts and loading the sleigh with goodies. Our employees provided the sparkle that makes Project Elf memorable for junior-enlisted service members and military families.
We continued our annual participation in the USO’s Trees for Our Heroes event, a special day for military families to experience a timeless tradition of tree cutting at a local Christmas Tree Farm. In appreciation of their service, USO provided military families the opportunity to spend the day selecting a Christmas tree for their home, creating seasonal arts and crafts, snapping pictures with Santa, and enjoying holiday fellowship. BAE Systems employees volunteered in this special holiday experience at Gaver Farm. Prior to the event, the team participated in assembling 150 goodie bags to be given to the participating families at the farm.
Arlington, Va. employees volunteered their time towards wrapping gifts for the Blue Star Families Star Families Stars, Stripes, and Snowflakes holiday party. In addition, local teams participated in a gingerbread decorating contest. The finished masterpieces were used as centerpieces at the party and provided to military families to take home and enjoy.
On National Wreaths Across America Day, a day to remember and honor our fallen veterans, we sponsored thousands of wreaths for employees from California to Virginia to lay on the graves of veterans at national cemeteries across the country.
Our Endicott, N.Y. employees worked with United Way of Broome County to bring holiday cheer to local families through the 19th Annual United Way Tree Delivery program. More than 50 employees and their family members volunteered to deliver Christmas trees, decorations, and blankets to 50 families in need. Our Endicott employees also hosted their annual Trees for Heroes in partnership with the United Way, where Christmas trees were distributed to active duty military families.
BAE Systems teamed up with Operation Homefront on the first of December to distribute more than 450 bicycles to San Diego military service members and their families at the Rancho Bernardo campus.
BAE Systems employees have a history of holding fundraisers throughout the year to raise money to purchase bikes and helmets. This year, employees raised over $12,000 for the Big Wheels for Little Warriors program. BAE Systems employees also volunteered their time to assemble the bikes and help with the distribution. This is the 24th year that the San Diego team has held the bike drive. The annual drive began in 1995 and more than 11,000 bicycles have been distributed to San Diego service members and their families.
Employees in New Hampshire volunteered to support local holiday programs by purchasing gifts for over 200 children in need in the surrounding communities. In addition, several employees volunteered to help distribute the gifts to families as they picked them up in advance of the holiday season.
Employees in Fort Wayne adopted five families as part of their annual Allen County Christmas Bureau Adopt-A-Family drive. The employees donated more than $9,000 in gifts, food, and grocery store gift cards for holiday meals. The Adopt-A-Family drive has been a holiday tradition for the Fort Wayne facility for more than 20 years.
BAE Systems also sponsored The Friends of Nassau County Recreation’s Annual Holiday party for Military Families at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, N.Y. in December. The party was created for active military members in Nassau County and their families, and includes lunch, ice skating, toys for children, raffles, Santa, and other entertainment. Our sponsorship enables the organization to give gift cards to each family and employees participate as volunteers at the event.
McLean, Va. employees sent holiday care packages to roughly 300 employees stationed abroad, in support of key customer missions. The packages serve as a small way to thank these employees and our direct subcontractors for their hard work and sacrifice, and better connect them to BAE Systems. A Holiday Care Package event was also hosted in San Jose, Calif. for a member of our Business Development team and his Army National Guard Unit currently deployed overseas. Our employees came together and to donate needed items to ease the team’s deployment during the holidays.
The York, Pa. Employee Engagement Committee and the Next Generation Committee donated 352 turkeys to local soup kitchens. One turkey can feed an estimated 40 to 50 people. In total, we were able to serve nearly 17,000 hot meals with the donated turkeys. Our York employees also came together for a food drive benefiting the York County Food Bank and encouraged employees to volunteer at the facility during the busy holiday season.
Employees in Phoenix, Ariz. hosted a holiday drive in partnership with the Sojourner Center, a local domestic violence shelter. During the holidays, Sojourner sets up a “boutique store” where parents can shop for their children and wrap gifts for them. Participating kids can earn holiday bucks by doing random acts of kindness and other things around the campus. Afterwards, they can use their bucks to shop for their parents in the store. Our employee contributions will all go into this store.
The Sterling Heights Employee Activity Committee adopted two military families for the holidays through the Selfridge Family Readiness program. Employees donated requested items for the two families to make their holidays merry and bright.
In partnership with the U.S. Army, employees located at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant donated and wrapped gifts for local children in elementary schools across Southwest Virginia.
Across the United States, our employees participated in the United States Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program and donated toys for infant through teenage children.