SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Gary Arora

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Banyan lends Pride for Parents a hand for the holidays

Every year, we take time to help organizations in our community. This year was extra special, because our plans for our “Giving Back” event were top secret. Only our CEO and the elves (a.k.a Steve’s helpers) knew what was going to happen this year. The big reveal came when a bus pulled up to the office to take us do some holiday shopping for a local charity called Pride for Parents.

We boarded the bus and headed to Target. We paired up with a buddy, and we were given a wish list filled with ideas for kids of all ages. After about an hour of roaming the aisles for LEGOs, dolls, scooters, books, games, soccer balls and more, nearly a dozen red shopping carts lined the checkout lane.

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Many times, the hassles of shopping and the harried energy of the holiday season takes over—especially at a big box store like Target. But, this was the the most fun many of us have had this busy year. We even inspired a woman who was shopping on her own to join our cause!

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It became even more festive when we walked outside, and it began to snow – a rare event in the South and especially in Atlanta, Ga. By time we arrived at the facility for FCS- Focused Community Strategies– the local organization that runs Pride for Parents, it was a winter wonderland outside.

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Pride for Parents started with one simple belief –families would prefer to provide for themselves at Christmas rather than receive a hand out.  Even if a family has limited means to do so, a mom, dad, aunt, uncle or grandparent wants to buy gifts for their families around the holidays.  Pride for Parents is a program designed to provide the families in our neighborhood the opportunity to shop for their families at greatly reduced cost.

We brought in lunch and joined the FCS staff for the second part of our holiday mission—to lend a helping hand. In less than 24 hours, a section of the local General Store needed to be decorated for Christmas, and hundreds of gifts needed to be sorted, priced, and set on shelves.

Everyone quickly got to work, some helped with labeling and pricing, others sorted toys by age and style. My team went over to the General Store to decorate the toy section. Working with my engineering colleagues and seeing their creative side was a lot of fun. And, having Nathan Rowe help to reach the high ceilings was a real bonus.

Thanks to our help, and through the support of generous schools, churches and individuals, FCS would be ready to set up a toy store in South Atlanta for two weeks leading up to Christmas. Families would get to shop and buy the toys their kids really want at a greatly reduced price.  And FCS provides quality jobs for residents in the area – one of the key ingredients to making the neighborhood healthy again.

According to Pride for Parents – the organization is a unique giving opportunity at Christmas because it provides three gifts in one:

  • The gift of a toy at Christmas for a child.
  • The gift of pride for the parents who are able to provide for their families.
  • The gift of job for South Atlanta residents.

Banyan was so proud to take part in Pride for Parents and lend a helping hand this holiday season. The Atlanta Journal Constitution covered the organization and all of the donations too.

Thank you to everyone who participated and was involved this year!

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Steve Latham

Steve Latham, founder, and CEO of Banyan Hills Technologies, is an Internet of Things expert and strategic technology leader. He founded the company in 2013 to impact the world through technology and a deep commitment to social responsibility. He has a strong track record of leveraging cloud-based technologies to optimize and accelerate business strategy and is highly regarded by his peers for his deep industry knowledge in Retail, Entertainment, Healthcare, and Financial Services.

Latham has successfully led architecture, implementation and delivery for one of the largest self-service, retail exchange kiosk systems in the world. Earlier, he served as CTO for the Entertainment division of NCR, where he helped orchestrate a successful divestiture of the business to Redbox for $125M. Prior to NCR, he held various technology leadership positions at Harland Clarke and led the consolidation of their e-commerce platform to a unified product offering for its customers. Latham serves on the board of directors for various businesses and academic institutions providing technical leadership.

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