AFB’s Huntington office has a holiday tradition dating back the last several years that allows us to better and more fully connect with our community. Every December, the staff throws a modest holiday party—either a catered lunch or a visit to a local restaurant. The party includes a gift exchange, where we previously all put our names into a hat and drew a colleague’s name, then that colleague receives the gift at the party.

When you draw a person’s name, you think about what that person’s job is, or what they enjoy doing. Then you buy a gift that fits this description as though the recipient were a child. For example, a couple years ago someone drew a colleague who was into horses and horseback riding, so the colleague bought a My Little Pony toy as the recipient’s gift. On another occasion, a colleague who worked in accounting received a toy cash register.

If this sounds so far like your pretty standard holiday secret gift exchange scenario, well, it is. But here is where it gets interesting. We then donate all of the toys to the Toy Train of West Virginia, Toys for Tots, or other local charity that holds an annual holiday toy drive to collect toys to provide to less-fortunate children in the Huntington area.

As a non-profit ourselves, AFB understands the importance of supporting important causes. This is just one way we strive to “pay it forward” and make a difference in the community in which we live and work.