Continuing a Giving Tradition Despite Obstacles

by Kate Kennedy | January 5, 2021

By Marco Calito

As we close the holiday season, we know that traditions could continue despite challenges from COVID-19.

One group keeping their traditions alive was the local technology company Obsidian Global, led by CEO Drew Conway. The company and its staff agreed before the holidays that they would continue their tradition of celebrating the season by giving and helping those less fortunate — with a few changes.

While practicing social distancing, the Obsidian staff chose to skip their traditional office holiday lunch and activities but still celebrate Christmas’s real meaning by doing something special for the children served by our Southern Maryland Food Bank’s Snack Sak Program.

The program partners with schools to provide backpacks filled with food for students who might not have access to meals during the weekend. On the last day of school before winter break, their Snack Sak bags had a surprise Christmas gift inside from Obsidian.

The company continued spreading holiday joy by fulfilling Christmas wish lists for three immigrant families through our Spanish Catholic Center. Each family has been affected by the pandemic. One family is a single mother with two young daughters, one of whom became ill with COVID-19 and then recovered. A second saw both the mother and father lose their food and restaurant industry jobs. A third also is experiencing economic hardship.

The families’ wish lists had humble requests — a toy or two, a new coat, nothing too fancy or over the top. But Obsidian decided to do something special for the families, knowing that all the children are doing virtual learning this school year. The company gave each family a laptop to assist the children with their educational needs.

2020 brought many obstacles and uncertainties to local families, but Obsidian remained committed to continuing a holiday tradition of providing Christmas joy to needy families and children.

Catholic Charities and the families of the children are grateful to Obsidian and its staff for their generosity and continued support. Thank you, Obsidian, for being an example and a leader in practicing and upholding long-standing traditions, while making small changes. In doing so, you share the same moral principles and goodness.

Marco Calito is an individual giving officer at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington.