Tree and Toys

‘Twas a few days ‘til Christmas and to our surprise,
We learned group events can bring tears to our eyes.
Happy tears, that is, when we see holiday spirit,
And the Missouri Common Ground Alliance was definitely into it. 

Conference attendees were cozy in their hotels around town,
When they learned of a need that gave them a frown.
Without hesitation, off they went with a city map,
To find toys they could purchase and put in gift wrap.

Just two days later, the Holiday Inn North staff thought something was the matter,
When a pickup pulled up and they heard a lot of chatter.
Away to the door, they flew like a flash,
To see what was going on, fearing a crash!

The pickup was moving in kind of slow,
After all, it was filled to near overflow! 
When, what to wondering eyes should appear,
But a truckload of toys and a bunch of volunteers.

The hotel manager was so lively and quick,
He welcomed the group and said they were magic!
More rapid than eagles the volunteers they came,
And they whistled, and sang, and they all exclaimed!

“We’re here with some things for Toys for Tots,
And we’re happy to say we have lots and lots!”
To the lobby they went! To the tree so tall!
Now they’ll stash the toys, stash away, stash away all!

As they unloaded the toys, hotel staff did cry,
What joy they felt in the wink of an eye.
Up along the wall, the pile of presents grew,
Such a room full of toys! Games and puzzles, too!

And then, in a twinkling, the presents kept coming,
Filling the tree and the lobby. It was absolutely stunning!
Hotel staff were helping unload the truck and running around,  
Through the entryway they came and went with a bound.

They were smiling and laughing and all the gifts they were put,
Beneath the tree until everyone was nearly caput!
But the toys, they kept coming. There was no time for slack.
And the people kept unloading. The truck must be unpacked!

Their eyes, how they twinkled! Their dimples were merry!
Their cheeks were like roses, noses like cherries.
Their lips, they were drawn up like a bow,
With big smiles and grins, you can bet they weren’t slow.

They laughed and smiled, showing their teeth,
And kept moving the toys, now under the wreath!
As they were unloading the truck, they marveled with joy,
At how generous the group was; so many toys to enjoy.

Each person thought of the holidays and the Jolly Old Elf,
And the spirit of giving, without thought of self;
They thought of the new year coming ahead,
And knew people are good. Keep that in your head.

They wiped away happy tears and kept to their work,
Everyone helped, including the front desk clerk.
As they finished the task, they hoped everyone knows,
That giving and caring is what the group chose.

As fast as they came, the unloading was done,
And everyone told the group they were grateful, a ton!
And the group exclaimed as the truck drove out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Group business isn’t all about filling hotel rooms and meeting venues. Sometimes it’s about making a difference. 

Such was the case when the Missouri Common Ground Alliance was in Springfield Dec. 7-8.

The conference attendees heard about a toy drive being done by Holiday Inn Express & Suites North and The Barley House at Moon Town Crossing for Toys for Tots and decided to help.

What a surprise it was when they delivered a truckload of toys just two days later! Not only did they fill the donation box, the entire lobby was also filled with toys.

The Missouri Common Ground Alliance is an all-volunteer group of experts from a variety of industries, including excavators, utilities, utility locating contractors, one-call systems, insurance professionals, legal experts, legislators, safety contractors, and construction companies. The group strives to provide education and guidance to excavators and utilities to avoid employee injuries and utility damages.

Thank you, Missouri Common Ground Alliance for being so... amazing and generous!