In the “Hearts and Hammers” program, sponsored by the City of Dallas Housing Department, DART employees, primarily from Bus Operations, help make repairs to the homes of seniors who are in financial or medical need to make sure their homes meet city standards.
This program, like the ones mentioned and many others involving our staff are really year-round efforts due to the need to maintain awareness and raise funds to support their activities. Thanks to that investment we’re reminded daily that if we’re to truly serve our community through quality transit services we need to stay connected to our customers as we strive to meet their needs. It’s by helping others that DART employees stay focused and motivated not only during the holidays but all year around.
Duluth Transit Authority
The holiday season starts early at the Duluth Transit Authority, with the first major employee event being the free community wide Thanksgiving Day Dinner provided by the College of St. Scholastica to over 2,500 area residents. Transportation to the event from senior centers, and shelters is organized and provided by DTA employees who volunteer their time. Following closely on the Thanksgiving Day volunteer services, the DTA participates in the annual “Christmas City of the North” parade. In cooperation with the Greater Downtown Council throughout the holiday season, the DTA provides a free downtown trolley shuttle service called the “George Baily Express” as a shopping promotion. The major employee holiday event at the DTA is the “Toys for Tots” fundraiser. The fundraiser is an element of the DTA Driver’s and Mechanics Annual Holiday Party organized and hosted by union and management employees. Through donations and raffles at this event, DTA employees donate toys and cash to the local charities for distribution to the children of needy families.
Motor Coach Industries
Stuffed with snacks, videos, motorcycle magazines and more, holiday gift boxes were mailed to overseas troops by workers at Motor Coach Industries, the nation’s leading builder of intercity coaches, headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill. This was the second MCI Support our Troops drive held during the year. MCI’s August Soldier Adoption Event included a similar effort that collected specific items such as toiletries, sewing kits, and boot socks along with other items on soldiers’ wish list.
“Since our first event went so well, we wanted to do more, especially during the holidays, since troops are so far from home,” said Pamela Lawrence, senior administrative assistant.
As with its initial event, MCI reached out to coworkers to be sure their family members or friends serving overseas would get a Holiday care-package sent to them, too. All together, MCI shipped more than a hundred boxes filled to gills with all sorts of goodies.
“Our troops work hard for us overseas,” said Bonnie Kroll, customer solutions support specialist. “These care packages are a sign of our gratitude and will hopefully brighten their day.”
West Covina, Calif.
We’ve often found that “holiday downtime” really doesn’t exist. At Foothill Transit, as the year ends we’re gearing up for the next calendar year’s projects, identifying grants, touching base with new stakeholders who were elected at the beginning of November, communicating with customers about altered holiday schedules, and on and on. And in addition to the ongoing workload, our employees’ homelife stress increases too. There are gifts to buy, parties to plan, families to placate, and schedules to balance. And in some cases, the holidays are a reminder of personal challenges. Paying attention to everyone’s stress levels, and providing opportunities to let off some steam are vital to keeping a positive holiday spirit intact.