Kahuna Kares

 

 

 

Operation Beast Mode: Greater Than We Ever Imagined

It all started with a simple Facebook post that got the creative juices of Kahuna Kares, our charitable giving program, flowing. Once we put the pieces of the Campaign together, our initial hope was to raise around $2,000 to purchase items for a few Chemo Care Packages for cancer patients at UC Hospital and Children’s Hospital in Aurora. None of us could have imaged what would happen next.

To get the motivation train started, Kahuna Kares pulled out a team favorite and hosted a penny war contest between all of our departments, the loser (ultimately the team who had the most negative points in their penny jar – pennies equaled positive points and silver/ green equaled negative points) would be destined to do a flash mob dance at our annual company holiday party. Our Civil Design Manager kicked off the friendly battle by calling for an all hands on deck pummeling of the electrical engineering and design group. As a result, the electrical group responded, taking the contest to an entirely new level! Our ‘Sparkies’ aka Team Sparkles, pulled out all of the stops by reaching out to loyal vendors for raffle donations, however, there was a plot twist in the game! Team Sparkles and the Civil Design Group joined forces to take down the Project Management, Project Engineering and P&ID Groups! They sent penny jars to the field, so our clients could also get in on the fun! It seems a threat of dancing in public inspires people to rally all troops to avoid such a fate.  As the Campaign came to a conclusion with a game of wacky whiffleball, the penny jars and raffle jars totals were revealed…. Team Sparkles worked so hard and looked like they were going to escape the dancing fate until… the PM, PE and P&ID group rallied together behind the scenes and tapped into their loyal vendor resources! Now, keep in mind as this was going down in the office, the Founders (Gary, John, Scott and Gregg) were scheming to have $2,000 in pennies delivered to the office! Yes, you read that correctly, we had to consult with our structural engineering experts to ensure the 3rd floor at 11400 Westmoor Circle could handle the weight of 200,000 pennies! The result of all of this madness….Team Sparkles is currently working on their choreography (or at least they should be)!

When we started this effort, $2,000 was our goal, who would have dreamed we could raise over $13,000 in change! Yes, you read that right, in change…coins, silver, pennies! The support and involvement in this effort wasn’t confined within our walls, the Colorado Angels 16U Softball Team collected care kits items, wrote cards of encouragement and delivered these items to be included in our care kits and our incredible clients and vendors hit the ball out of the park with their contributions!

Raising over $13,000 meant the real work for the Kahuna Kares Committee was about to start. With the help of many incredible people at UC Hospital and Children’s Hospital, along with cancer survivors close to all of us, we came up with a list of items that would best suit the patients and provide additional support during their journey. Now, you would think spending $13,000 would be an easy day in the office, but one day on Amazon turned into 3!  We have become best friends with our delivery drivers, our lobby has been filled with smiling boxes on a daily basis, our receptionist, Amanda, has gotten lost in the piles several times and we continue to conduct well fair checks to make sure she’s still with us.

What did we purchase you ask?

The adults will be loving their backpacks that have built in charging ports and power banks to help keep their electronics charged. The backpack will be filled with goodies includes blankets, chapstick, toiletry convenience kits, water bottles, hard candy, art supplies, journals, playing cards and activity books.

When we contacted Children’s Hospital they thought the idea of chemo care bags was cool, but they had an even better idea, to help support ALL of the kids staying at the hospital! We were sold! They provided us with a “wish list” that would support every child from newborns to teenagers in their building. Some of the items we purchased for the kids includes Xbox controllers, games and chargers, craft and coloring items such as crayons, markers, playdoh, floam, and craft kits, DVD’s, journals, puzzles and books, mobiles and mirrors for cribs, light-up and musical toys, little people play sets, Legos, Nerf basketball hoops, stuffed animals, teethers, baby swings, motor development toys and craft sets for the older kids.

With every item checked off our inventory list, it is time for the fun to begin. Next week Kahuna-ites will come together and assemble 50 care bags for the adults at UCH and we’ll be sorting through and organizing the fun items for the kids. On Thursday, we will have the greatest pleasure and honor of walking into UC Hospital and Children’s Hospital with giant bags of gifts as if we are Santa. It will be a Christmas in July event for Kahuna and we are so excited to see the smiles on the faces of patients as they receive additional support, encouragement and love!