Almost Christmas!


It's December (hooray)! And almost Christmas, so I've been helping to plan the staff holiday party at SEDC. My coworkers and I decorated the office for Christmas, and we will order Asian food from a new Cambodian restaurant (one of my coworkers can get us a discount). We have also created a slide show with pictures of staff members and funny captions--well, at least, we find them funny. We created a video of staff members by telling them we were "testing out the camera to see if it works." So we will also show a movie at the staff party. Finally, we are having a Secret Santa so that staff members can give each other gifts.

Our turkey drive for Thanksgiving was even more successful than we'd hoped. We received gift certificates for 25 turkeys costing $10 each from Salvation Army. When we took the gift certificates to Shaw's to redeem them, Shaw's was having a sale on turkeys, so for the same amount of money ($10 per turkey) we were able to purchase almost 50 turkeys! I wrote a "Thank You" letter to the organizations that donated turkeys, and I will be including the "Thank You" note in SEDC's newsletter and on our website.

Our clothing drive has also been wildly successful! I sent emails to different colleges in Providence, and Johnson and Wales University and Brown University agreed to have a clothing drive for SEDC. We received only a few clothes from Brown, but Johnson and Wales students gave us many beautiful clothes! The clothes were so nice that some of the staff members joked that they couldn't find anything that nice in the stores. We gave away the clothing on the same day as the turkey giveaway, and by the end of the day, nearly all of the clothes were gone (the only ones left were items like size 0 jeans, which, let's by honest, almost no one can fit into).

I have also been helping to coordinate the translation of our "Welcome to the Socio-Economic Development Center for Southeast Asians," which says those words in Hmong, Lao, Khmer, and Vietnamese. The U.S. Census Bureau paid for the sign, but they didn't have Hmong, Lao, Khmer, and Vietnamese fonts. I had to email them the correct fonts. In the process of doing this, I discovered that the staff members at SEDC have different versions of Khmer fonts on their computers, so other staff members and I attempted to correct this and give everyone the same fonts.

I visited SEDC's Woonsocket office and wrote biographies of the staff in that office to put on the website.

I also began looking for interns for spring semester. My plan is to have the interns work on updating the website and writing the newsletter. Then, after I leave, SEDC can either rehire the same interns or find new interns to do this task. I plan to train another staff member in how to perform these tasks so that she can train the interns and manage the program after I leave.

Comment from Mira Allen on December 14, 2009 - 2:41pm

Hi Rachel,

I'm glad to hear everything's going well for you in RI. See you Friday for the Christmas party?