In a year replete with social unrest, worldwide lockdowns, protests, and economic instability, this season of giving is perhaps more important than ever.
“With COVID-19 hitting, a lot of families have suffered,” says Aguirre & Fields Graduate Engineer Blain Osborn. “We’re fortunate enough to be in a position where we can really give back and make a difference in their lives at this time.”
Aguirre & Fields employees from across Texas and Oklahoma participated in several toy drives this holiday season, including Toys for Tots, the Okfuskee County Gift of Love, the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) Toy Drive, and the Child Advocates of Fort Bend Holiday Wish List.
“Participation in toy drives nationwide has been down this year because of the pandemic,” says Graduate Engineer Andrea Sandoval. “Being able to give kids a little bit of joy and excitement during these difficult times means the world to me.”
Oklahoma City Structures Team Lead Ute Ganjanathavat, P.E. has been donating to Toys for Tots since 1978.
“For me, it is a tradition,” he explains, “to help provide for children less fortunate.”
For Osborn, donating to the Okfuskee County Gift of Love is personal.
“They provide toys for foster children,” he says. “Having been foster parents ourselves, my wife and I can relate to the needs of these kids, which is why participation in this drive is so important to us.”
The Child Advocates of Fort Bend County Holiday Wish List provides toys to children who have been taken out of abusive homes.
“Child Advocates are all for the kids,” says Controller Noelle Ingram. “When you hear the stories of what those kids go through, and how Child Advocates help mentor them, help them to heal—you just can’t help but to be moved to tears—and to take action.”
“I was overwhelmed by the participation this year,” adds Marketing Coordinator Mariel Caballero. “Most of our people are working from home, but that didn’t stop them from donating.”
While community impact and involvement are paramount in Aguirre & Fields’ daily approach, the spirit of the holidays inspires employees to make an even bigger dent in the lives of families and children.
“Every chance I get I want to help, because I know how much people struggle,” says CADD Technician Raisa Caballero. “Even my daughter was excited to help out when she joined me in picking out toys at the store.”
“Aguirre & Fields is all about taking care of our communities,” says Austin Roadway Team Lead Paul Hahn, P.E. “Throughout the years that I have been here, they have consistently demonstrated this by encouraging us to seek out and support efforts like the TSPE Toy Drive.”
“A lot of companies say they care about giving back to the community,” says CADD Operator Alfred Garcia, “but Aguirre & Fields really means it, and I am happy to be a part of it.”
“Aguirre & Fields truly lives out its culture of community impact and involvement,” says Ingram. “We have the kindest people, and their hearts are just amazing.”