Thanksgiving Reflections

By Keith Kitani | 1-min read

For many, Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and enjoying time with family and friends. And while I feel very thankful for family, friends and the GuideSpark team, it’s hard not to think about all of those who have experienced a very tough year in the U.S. and around the world. Watching news coverage of both man-made and natural catastrophes can be disheartening, but at the same time, I have been struck by some powerful stories from individuals and organizations that have stepped up to help their local communities.

 Here at GuideSpark, one employee was so moved by the stories of those affected by the recent disasters that he organized a company-wide donation campaign. Each month, interested employees will select a charity together and pool donations to send to that organization. October’s giving provided relief to Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.

 American National Insurance Company, a GuideSpark customer headquartered in Houston, had many employees impacted by the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. After the storm, the company’s HR team quickly mobilized to raise funds for employees, set up temporary housing and transportation, and found other resources to help their staff recover. TJX, the parent company of familiar retail stores like TJ Maxx, is providing some normalcy for employees in Puerto Rico by continuing to pay them even as stores remain closed after the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Maria. When asked why, the company simply said “it’s the right thing to do.”

 And finally, a story that’s close to home for GuideSpark, given our headquarters location in northern California. In October, the HR director at a Sonoma County Hilton hotel sent out a heartfelt message on social media, just days after the hotel was destroyed by wildfire. She sought to help the hotel’s 130 employees find new employment as quickly as possible. Over 7000 people quickly responded to her post, and she committed to sharing all leads with her impacted employees.

 These stories remind me of the human connection between all of us, whether we’re joined by geography, our companies or a common passion to help others. Indeed, they give me a lot to be thankful for this season.