PEABODY, Mass. — Dec. 23, 2011 — For the 13th consecutive year, employees at Peabody-based Converge, a global independent distributor, presented a pallet full of toys to Project Uplift, a holiday toy drive coordinated by the nonprofit community action program, ACTION Inc.
“Converge has been on the North Shore for more than 30 years, and our company has flourished here,” said Eric Checkoway, managing director and general manager for Converge. “We started participating in this program in 1998 to give back to the community. Our employees really embraced it immediately, and now Project Uplift is a cherished part of our holiday traditions.”
Project Uplift helps Cape Ann families lacking the financial resources for nonessential items such as Christmas gifts. Qualifying parents of children 14 and under receive up to three age- and gender-appropriate donated new toys for each child to place under the tree. Parents also are able to choose a variety of “stocking stuffers.”
“We provided Christmas gifts for 700 kids last year and we will likely have even more this year,” said Michele Ameno, Project Uplift coordinator. “Applications were still pouring in during the week. We simply couldn’t fill all those needs without the support of local companies like Converge.”
In addition to Converge, Project Uplift receives support from several large local companies, as well as area churches and scouting groups. In addition, there are community drop-off boxes at dozens of locations throughout the North Shore.
Most of the donation boxes were picked up early during the week of Christmas so Project Uplift volunteers could sort and prepare toys for pickup. However, ACTION Executive Director Tim Riley said it is never too late to give to the program. “Donors are welcome to contact us and bring toys to our office in Gloucester,” he said. “Our volunteers will be working long hours to get everything processed. Anything that doesn’t make it under the tree this year will help start our collection for next year.”
“We are grateful to ACTION for organizing this program year after year, giving companies like ours a concrete way to help,” Checkoway said. “It is incredibly rewarding to know that we were able to play a significant role in brightening the holidays for local children.”
Information about Project Uplift is available at www.actioninc.org.
Converge is an independent distributor that complements existing supply channels with its extensive electronic components distribution services and market expertise. With more than 30 years of experience, Converge has an established, comprehensive, and dependable global electronic components distribution network. It helps companies meet technology component purchasing needs by capitalizing on market opportunities to bridge supply gaps, reduce costs, manage inventory, and speed time to market.
Photo - From left to right: Michele Ameno, Project Uplift coordinator; Peter Censullo, Converge facilities supervisor; Mark Romanowski, Converge marketing strategies manager; Paul Siraco, Converge global human resources manager; Tim Riley, ACTION executive director.
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Mark B. Romanowski