Happy Holidays from Charlie Claus

By Dwayne Clark, CEO on December 23, 2008 2:21 PM

The Holiday Season presents unique challenges for people of all types. Our residents dwell in past memories of more active Holidays, our families find it difficult to celebrate without Mom being present and cooking her special treats and our staff suffer their own difficulties.

Nearly 17 years ago, during the Christmas Season, I would drive to work and listen to a DJ in Seattle by the name of Charlie Brown. During the Holidays he would do a program called Charlie Claus. Charlie Claus was a program for the less fortunate. On a daily basis he would have listeners mail him scenarios of people in need. Then he would chose one each day, get community support and surprise a family with gifts, food and clothing. I had many a drive where I would listen with tears streaming down my cheeks.

Then I started doing the same program when I worked for other companies. When we started Aegis it became part of our Holiday protocol to have each community pick a staff member or family in the community to surprise. This program has grown huge over the years and really changed people’s lives.

My favorite story is one of a staff member who lost their place to live. Through much community support and donations we found an apartment, filled it with furniture, food, clothing and a little fun stuff. We brought the staff member to the apartment under the auspice that it may be for rent at a reasonable cost. When the staff member saw it , they couldn’t believe what a nice place it was and asked “when is the other person moving their stuff out?” The Executive responded, “this is your stuff and you can move in this moment.”

So my hope is that we all share as much as we possibly can during this time when the need is so great. Thanks to the incredible Angels of Aegis who this year changed the lives of 35 Charlie Claus Recipients.


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