Stockings for Soldiers

For more than 550 U.S. troops stationed in Qatar, the holidays will hopefully be a bit brighter thanks to some dedicated Dell employees who worked to send them Christmas stockings filled with goodies.

The brainchild of former Dell employee Rebecca Cahak and Shawn Trotter, Executive Director of Global Commercial  Channels, North America Sales, they rallied Dell employees from the Plano and Round Rock chapters of the Veterans Employee Resource Group (ERG), as well as from various sales teams and the “Connected in Faith” group to stuff more than 550 stockings to send overseas. Both women have several family members who have served or are currently serving in various branches of the military and the request came from a friend in Qatar who helps look after the welfare and morale of soldiers stationed there.

Employees filled the stockings with snacks, small gifts like iTunes and calling cards, but probably most importantly, notes and pictures from them and their children to express support for the soldiers from a nation grateful for their service.

“In these times when the world can seem so broken, a project like this reminds us how much good is in the world,” Trotter said. “It is our responsibility to continue to look for ways to make a difference for others and it is easy to do in a company like this, where community service and giving is part of our DNA.” 

During the holiday season, Dell employees in Round Rock and Plano also participated in team events at the North Texas Food Bank and the Capital Area Food Bank as well as many other “service back to the community” activities around the world.

The stockings for soldiers came in from as far away as Oklahoma, where Trotter has a sales team. Her goal was 500 stockings for this first year, but she’s set the bar higher for next year. 

“In less than three weeks, the stockings were rolling in so fast that we lost count. So our goal for next year is 1,000.” 

John Newberry, director of Infrastructure Services Delivery in Dell Services and Executive Sponsor of the Plano Veterans ERG, says this type of effort is what it’s all about.

“I’m proud of the Dell employees who put this together on their own to support our troops who are serving,” said Newberry, a former Marine who served in South West Asia. “From experience, I know how much it can mean to get something from home and know people are thinking about you.”

About the Author: Julie Powell