Friday, August 13, 2010

Yankee Candle Builds Bikes for Big Brothers Big Sisters

August is a funny month to work at Yankee Candle. It's a time when we're dressed for the heat of the summer, but our stores are selling Halloween and we're thinking of Christmas. It’s like all of the fall/winter holidays merge together!

Every August shortly after unveiling our Halloween collection in the stores and on the website, our corporate offices host the retail sales team in a 3-day conference to pump everyone up for the holiday season. District Sales Managers and Store Managers travel from all across the country to South Deerfield MA in order to learn everything they can about the new candles and accessories they'll be selling during the busiest time of the year. For this year's meeting, we added a different element: team building for charity. About 100 Yankee Candle employees from several different departments joined together in what they believed to be a standard team building activity. What they didn't know was that their teamwork would have a lasting impact on them and on families in the neighboring community.

Through the help of a company called TeamBonding, Yankee Candle partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County in Massachusetts. BBBS-FC identified 26 children from the area who were in need of bicycles and YC put together teams to build bikes for them. While we were laboring over the mechanics of the bikes and testing them for safety, the kids were making their own candles in our store! At the end of the event, the sales teams brought the fruits of their labor to the excited children and their families! I don’t know who received the greater gift, the kids or those of us who made the bikes for them. I do know that when Christmas came to Yankee Candle it was on a hot August day that I’ll never forget!

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