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Environmental Factor, January 2014

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Employees make the 2013 Giving Tree a success

By Kelly Lenox

The 2013 Giving Tree, sponsored by the Diversity Council, gave NIEHS employees the opportunity to brighten Christmas for some area children. “It’s been an amazing job of partnering with the Salvation Army to share our riches with a lot of people this holiday season,” observed Joellen Austin, NIEHS associate director for management.

At the Dec. 5 celebration, the success of the Giving Tree effort was evident. Bill Quattlebaum recalled, “Last year we did 160 tags. We got in 120, and, in the last few days, had to have some more brought over to us. This year, it has been harder to plan, with the furlough and late Thanksgiving, so we have been really pleased with the response.”

All of this year’s 150 tags were taken, and some employees went the extra mile. “Gregory Solomon and some of his elves offered to assemble the bicycles that had been donated,” Quattlebaum said. Solomon has already renewed the offer for next year. “ We don’t want the assembly to keep anyone from buying a bike.”

Along with admiring the bicycles and other gifts, large and small, the gathered employees used the time to sample the festive treats, while getting better acquainted with one another.

Austin and Collins

Austin and Collins welcomed employees to the Giving Tree celebration. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Steve Johnson and William Ragland

Steve Johnson, left, and William Ragland enjoyed a break from their hectic preholiday schedules. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Sophia Harlid, Ph.D. and Michelle Campbell

Sophia Harlid, Ph.D., left, and Michelle Campbell quenched their thirst brought on by the plentiful treats. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Gifts under the tree

Gifts under the tree represented just a few of the many donations. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Westmoreland and Robinson

Diversity Council members Westmoreland, left, and Robinson joined in the festivities. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Dick Sloane and Rick Woychick, Ph.D.

Dick Sloane, right, gestured as he described the size of the pile of gifts over at the NIEHS Keystone building to Rick Woychik, Ph.D., NIEHS deputy director. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

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