Thanksgiving kicks off one of my favorite times of the year. Not because of the food, parties or presents – although those things are certainly great – but because it reminds me that this is a holiday that has a meaning to different people for different reasons. Understanding this and wanting to share something positive with our local and global communities, Biamp System’s Charitable Giving Committee has been working to make this holiday season one about giving and sharing.

Biamp’s Charitable Giving Committee is made up of nine members, who don’t normally work together. The committee provides an opportunity to build community within our own organization as well as empower our employees, since it reflects the personal values of the people who work at Biamp. Any one of our employees can suggest a charity or cause and, as long as it meets the prerequisites, Biamp will make a donation. As a result, Biamp’s efforts have benefited everyone from a Biamp employee in need to people impacted by global crisis, like the tsunami in Japan. We have done everything from working with Engineers Without Borders by sponsoring a kickball fundraiser to purchasing cows for families in Afghanistan. We believe our charitable giving program reflects Biamp’s corporate culture of inclusivity by bringing together people from various backgrounds.

One activity that Biamp employees have done almost every year is to adopt families going through difficult times and make the holidays special for the children. I personally get behind this Charitable Giving Committee activity because I believe no child should go without a gift and special events around the holidays. The families are grateful, making the activity rewarding for everyone who participates. We look to take larger families that aren’t typically adopted by others. Last year, 80 percent of Biamp employees participated in the program to adopt a total of 20 families. Everyone got involved here, even our internationally-based employees who participated by donating money for gifts. Other employees contributed their time and helped to wrap and deliver the presents and food.

We would love to read about what you are doing to make this year’s holiday season one about giving and sharing.

We invite you – our readers, partners and customers – to share in the comment boxes below, the creative ways you have supported a cause that is dear to your heart, or an inspirational story about giving back. What motivates you to give? Why should we give?