CES Employees Read Virtually to Children’s Health Patients

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Before COVID-19 hit, City Electric Supply employees had plans to volunteer at Children’s HealthSM. When the lockdown happened, they were disappointed to realize that couldn’t happen anymore. CES Social Impact Manager Karen Gray, who had organized the visit, was especially saddened.

But then a different kind of opportunity fell in her lap.

New Opportunity at Children’s Health

“Colten, my contact at Children’s Health, reached out to me with some opportunities for us to financially support Children’s Health, and they wanted people to volunteer to record themselves reading stories for the children,” explained Gray.

“Throughout the years, the CES team has continued to go above and beyond for our patient families,” said Colten Hendrik, Corporate Partnerships Development Officer at Children’s Health. “Whether participating in our KIDstruction efforts or volunteering inside the hospital walls, City Electric Supply is always there to support our mission to make life better for children.”

Because CES is such a supporter of Children’s Health, Karen didn’t hesitate when Colten reached out with this opportunity.

“I thought we could do it as a group by breaking up the book into parts. It sounded like a fun team-building activity, and it took off from there,” said Gray.

Taking It To Another Level

So, she set out to find the perfect story for CES employees to read.

“Being Christmastime, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ made perfect sense,” said Gray. “The story is so universal, so sweet. It’s about love and kindness to everybody.”

She divided the book into sections and had different employees record themselves reading each section — some dressed up, and some put their dogs in the frame. CES Chief Marketing Officer Thomas McShane even donned a Mickey Mouse Santa hat.

“I have to do a shoutout here to our animation team, too,” said Gray. “They put all the footage together and added words at the bottom. I think them taking the time to put the frames together so carefully made it what it was. It took it to another level.”

The video was definitely on another level, and it got great feedback.

“The video turned out awesome!” said Hendrik. “Karen and the CES team did an excellent job with their virtual reading of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. The morning she shared the video file, we immediately added it to that day’s Red Balloon Network programming.”

Using What You Have

It came at the perfect time. The past year, with COVID, many events and festivities had been put on hold for patients at Children’s Health. The CES team is so happy about being able to make a difference.

“When the original volunteering event got canceled, I was very disappointed,” said Gray. “I felt sad. It was crushing. But then I thought — what can we do with what we have? And this opportunity was the perfect example of doing that. It was so rewarding, and finding new ways to help like this is really exciting.”

Gray encourages everyone to seek out virtual volunteering opportunities, claiming that this book reading opportunity is only one of many out there.

“There are so many opportunities out there and ways people can use their skills to help organizations,” said Gray. “And for CES employees, you can find a lot of opportunities on our CES Cares website.”

If you are interested in helping Children’s Health moving forward, visit Give.Childrens.com. Your time and money can go to giving kids the best experience, the best care, and the best chance of getting back to being a kid again. If you are a CES employee interested in other volunteering opportunities, visit CESCares.Benevity.org today.

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