How Optum helped make CITC 2016 a success

December 24, 2016

At Christmas in the City, we pride ourselves on being a 100% volunteer organization. Our amazing volunteers enable us to keep costs to a minimum, and the number of kids we reach to the maximum. Craig Miller is one of our 1,000+ volunteers. Part of the CITC volunteering that Craig does is spearheading the support efforts that his employer, Optum (a health services and innovation company that’s part of United Health Group) has undertaken on behalf of Christmas in the City for the last couple of years.

We thought you might be interested in seeing the email that Craig sent out to Optum employees, describing the contributions that helped make Christmas in the City 2016 such a success.


As we head into the holiday break I want to thank everyone who participated in the various activities for Christmas in the City over the last month.  What started out as an activity for the Boston site quickly expanded into an amazing Optum effort that included employee participation in Boston, Wakefield, Cambridge, Rhode Island and many remote employees who eagerly joined in to purchase a record breaking total of 325 wish list gifts for children from Boston area shelters.  This was truly an Optum team effort that culminated with an amazing event at the Boston Convention Center on Sunday December 18th and Monday Mania on Monday December 19th (when thousands of presents are given out to needy but not homeless families).

We got off to a phenomenal start with the Boston site Annual Giving Campaign event on December 6th.  The event was very successful, thanks to the efforts of Donna McCart and Jim White. The volunteer teams (under Donna and Jim) that managed the event raised over $2,700 that was used to purchase additional wish list gifts for CITC.  This was a record fundraising result as it took place over just a couple of hours.

Employees from many Optum locations then took the next couple of weeks to purchase CITC wish list gifts for homeless children and the response was amazing. Boxes from Amazon and other places clogged up the lobby every day.

On Friday December 16th we held our 2nd annual CITC Gift Wrapping Party in Boston to wrap all the gifts that would be presented to children at the event on Sunday.  Talk about a team effort!  Approximately 50 employees from all locations in the Boston area wrapped 325 gifts in less than 2 hours!  It was an impressive effort, and also a chance for employees to meet with new colleagues from Boston and other sites.

On Saturday December 17th 10 very brave volunteers slogged through the snow in Boston and traveled to the Boston Convention Center to help prepare for the big event on Sunday.

Lastly, on Sunday December 18th, another 20 volunteers hosted 104 guests from the one of the shelters at the annual party attended by over 6,000 guests.  For those that attended it was an experience that will be remembered for a long time.

Words can’t express the admiration I have for my Optum colleagues.  I am very proud to be a member of this team!

Happy Holidays to everyone.  Stay safe in your travels and see you in 2017!



And words can’t express the admiration we have for the generosity and kindness of volunteers like Craig and his colleagues, and for companies like Optum who we count (and count on) among our incredible supporters.

Thank you, Craig! Thank you, folks from Optum!
As Craig says, see you in 2017!

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Christmas in the City is registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions to CITC are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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