My Christmas Gift To You
The story you are about to read is really a gift I have been given to share with you. I know it’s a bit long but, I hope you take the time to read it. My hope is that you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing for you… Norm Mickle
I believe that Christmas is a magical time of the year. I thought it was time to share with you a gift I received a few years ago. The gift I want to share with you is a concept I call “You Get By Giving”. This concept is mystical, magical, and almost biblical
YOU GET BY GIVING
This concept does not come to you with out rules.
Rule # 1. You must always give first.
Rule # 2. You must expect nothing in return.
The Gift. It will come back to you 10 fold.
Do you believe in Santa Claus? My wife Janet has owned a small restaurant called “MEALTIME EXPRESS” for almost 22 years. Secretly we have been spearheading a program called “Secret Santa” for the past 8 years. In the beginning we would pick a family or two that we heard about through our church, and we have the pastor visit that family. He would get a wish list from the kids, and Jan and I would go out and buy the gifts. The families never knew who actually made this happen. Well, things have snowballed since then.
This year we hosted the 7th Annual Secret Santa Benefit Dinner that helps raise the funds to expand the program. Last year this group of volunteers raised enough money to buy six gifts (right off of their Christmas Wish list) for 87 children from 33 local families. Each family recieved a Gift Certificate from their local grocery store so they could prepare a Christmas meal fit for a king.
Jan’s sister Maxine co-ordinates the whole program. She is instrumental in setting up what to buy, keeps the books all in order and even sets up Santa’s delivery schedule. None of this could be done without the help of Jan’s family, her brother Joe and his wife Helga, her sister Charlene and her husband Ken along with Liz Mickle, Pauline Shaw, Janet Clifford, Tim McCalister, a pastors wife from Kingsville and all the volunteers who come out and help.
Jan actually closes the restaurant and hosts the dinner. We donate all the food for the benefit. Every penny of the $20 ticket price goes the Secret Santa Program. Even the waitresses come back in and donate their time. There is a 50/50 draw at each of the 4 sittings. The restaurant only holds 50 people, so we hold 4 sittings and we sell over 300 tickets including take out. There always seem to be lots of raffle prizes to buy tickets for. By the way, we are not sure how we get these raffle prizes. We have never gone to local businesses and asked for them; the owners just show up and drop stuff off. Hmmmm, maybe they have heard of “YOU GET BY GIVING”.
This year the Secret Santa Program will look after even more families, thanks to all of the help that these folks gave them. We know that everyone that attended the dinner or bought take out tickets, donated a prize, brought in a toy or gave money have all dug deep to help out. We also know how blessed we are to be given the opportunity to do this. We could not do this with out them and May God Bless Them All.
You Get By Giving
My brother Jim (Santa) passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack 5 years ago. My sister-in-law Liz (Mrs. Claus) vowed never to wear the outfit again. By the way, she handmade these outfits herself. They are magnificent. Pastor Steve, who buried my brother and who was instrumental in helping find the families, agreed to wear the Santa outfit as long as Liz would be his partner. Reluctantly she did. How can you tell your pastor NO? She experienced the gleaming little faces she and Santa visited that year and realized the importance of this program.
You see, you get by giving. Losing your soul mate is devastating and you think you will never love again. Liz found the love she thought she lost in the faces of the kids she visits every year. The legend that my brother started lives on through her and her commitment to this program. You Get by Giving – Sometimes it comes back to you ten fold right away. You must always give first and expect nothing in return, and sometimes it comes back to you through a life changing, life saving, event.
Pastor Steve was transferred the next year and now there is no Santa. So, off I go in search of the next person who will fill my brother’s shoes. The perfect guy was my brother-in-law, John. Now, John is a very friendly guy. He is a truck driver who also looks like what you think of when you think of a 55-year-old biker. He fits the Santa suit perfectly, shaves his head and has an Indian Feather Tattoo on his arm with his grandkids’ names on it. There is no way he is going to do this for me. Of course, I am a pretty good salesman.
With the help of the kids’ experiences and my wife and his wife nagging him, we shamed John into the suit. Now, there is something very magical about the Christmas season. John’s (Santa’s) first experience was during the first snowfall of the year. Snow was softly falling, just enough to see it in the street lights, just enough to make it a very special, magical Christmas Eve. Santa, Mrs. Claus and 3 elves dressed in green ponchos, red and white stockings, green hats with the perfect elf ears attached to them and pointed curly toed shoes (all hand made by Mrs. Claus and sister Pauline, one of the elves), knocked on their first door to make a delivery. A short, curly haired 6-year-old girl answered the door with the biggest smile you’ve ever seen. She screamed to her father announcing who was at the door. My shy and timid (tough guy) Santa half-heartedly gave a “HO HO HO” and went into the house.
Once he and his entourage got in with all their gifts, he started to feel a little more comfortable. He already knew the situation he was going into. Dad was very grateful for our presents, but felt there were a lot more deserving families than his. He lost his job awhile back, his wife left him and he had custody of the two children. He had told his kids that his unemployment cheque was due to come in next week and they would have Christmas then. There were tears coming down from the corners of his eyes when he saw all we had done for him and his girls. He asked Santa and his helpers to stay for a moment so he could take a picture. With the 2 girls on Santa’s lap and his gang snuggled around, Dad snapped the picture. The batteries were dead. Dad’s head fell down and he wiped off the tears of disappointment. He started to apologize to the group when his little 6-year-old girl ran from the picture frame into the kitchen. Santa could hear her rustling through a drawer, and she ran back to her dad with a photo in her hand, tugged on his shirtsleeve and said, “Dad don’t cry, it’s OK I have a picture with Santa Claus in the mall from last year.”
Out of the mouths of babes, Santa got up, wished a Merry Christmas to the three occupants of that blessed home and took his entourage back to the “sleigh” (actually a pick up truck I was driving). I asked Santa how it went and he could not speak as he pushed back his own tears to keep from sobbing out loud. That did it, now I can’t get him out of that Santa suit.
Sometimes you give reluctantly, hoping you get nothing in return. In John’s case, the rewards are not 10 fold; they are priceless.
This program is a win, win, win for everyone involved. The folks that get involved finding the families from a list of kids who they help every day – a WIN. The churches that help find the families – it’s a great out reach program – a WIN. All the volunteers who get that warm fuzzy feeling from the accomplishment made from all of their hard work – a WIN. The last and most important winners are the kids and their families. Who knows how that all turns out, but I can tell you this: over the years, our pastors have come to us with unanimous donations. All they would tell us is the money came from a family who was visited at one time by Santa and his gang.
You Get By Giving – is a concept that will help you to start Building treasures in heaven. Reach out and touch some one’s life and you too will receive the same gift that was given to me.
Merry Christmas Everyone,
May God Bless You and Yours,
Congratulations to our Samsung Galaxy Tab winner, Frank Fazio from SafeGuard (see photograph), who won the brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1 inch). Filling out our simple survey, we were able to learn a little more about how Frank tracks his success when advertising his business! Thanks again for your participation!
With your help, Wheeler’s was able to give away $500 to local non profit organizations. Wheeler’s was also able to find out how your companies in your community interact with the great customer base we have in Windsor. With the participation of our clients, we are able to make more companies successful in marketing and advertising!
Thank you again for everyone’s support.
by Chantal Tode from mobilemarketer.com
Consumer packaged goods companies are starting to get more innovative in using mobile applications, rich media ads and QR codes to have a more direct relationship with consumers.
For the most part, CPGs have been slow to adopt mobile marketing with the exception of a few visionaries such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever. This is starting to change, with a wider group of marketers starting to embrace mobile while some of the early adopters are stepping up their game.
“A majority of CPGs are slowly experimenting with mobile while others who started early are seeing the return and continuing to invest heavily in the channel,” said Dirk Rients, management director for mobile at Draftfcb, Chicago.
“CPGs are taking a closer look at mobile because consumers are constantly turning to their mobile devices to make purchases or help them shop while in-store,” he said.
“Unfortunately we still see a majority of CPG brands view mobile as its own separate channel while others are integrating mobile into their overall strategy allowing for an engaging experience at scale.”
It is because of the growth in smartphone adoption and the strength of initial results that companies such as Kraft, Johnson & Johnson and Kellogg are beginning to take a more active role in mobile.
One of the areas where these brands are most active is in developing mobile applications that engage consumers with their brands in value-add way and help develop a more direct relationship between brand and consumer.
This spring, Johnson & Johnson introduced the Magic Vision app for its Band-Aid brand. The app enables children with a booboo and wearing a Band-Aid bandage featuring the Muppets to launch an augmented reality animated show designed to help them forget all about their booboo.
Another innovative example is the Aquafresh Time2Brush app, also directed at kids. The app provides directions on how to brush teeth in a fun, interactive way and counts down from two minutes to insure kids brush for length of time recommended by dentists.
“There are a growing number of examples of CPGs doing a good job leveraging mobility to develop a direct relationship with consumers,” said Dan Israel, Atlanta-based strategy lead for mobile practice at SapientNitro.
“Brands are getting into this game and providing something that is of relevance to consumers,” he said. “The next step is making these experiences more contextually relevant based on location and frequency of use.
“What mobile is doing is it making it much easier to get front and center and to have that direct relationship with consumers without an intermediary.”
Embracing QR Codes
CPG brands are also particularly enamored of QR codes and other 2D bar codes, putting them on packaging, ads and elsewhere to engage in-store shoppers and provide a value-add via product information, coupons or recipes.
These initial efforts are starting to give way to more innovative use of QR codes.
In June, Walmart and P&G placed QR codes on bus shelters and trucks to encourage on-the-go consumers to scan and instantly buy products from brands such as Tide, Pampers and Gillette. The campaign targeted shoppers in Chicago and New York.
“CPGs have the most to gain from mobile because now they can have a direct relationship with consumers and have an opportunity to make themselves contextually relevant and intertwine themselves into that person’s lifestyle,” SapientNitro’s Mr. Israel said.
“Brands have an opportunity to have a much bigger impact through new brand ambassadors by having that direct relationship,” he said.
Following The Audience
Advertising is another area where CPG brands are beginning to get more innovative with rich media ads and in-app ads targeting specific groups.
Mobile offers brands key benefits such as the ability to target an audience based on a variety of criteria. Additionally, mobile increasingly offers rich media ad units based on HTML5 technology that can help drive engagements.
Jumptap reports that CPG marketers see an average 34 percent lift in click-through rates when applying data targeting and engagement rates for CPG marketers using HTML5 average 17 percent.
P&G reportedly spends more than $10 million on mobile advertising annually. Other CPGs are not spending at the same level in part because measurement and metrics in mobile need to improve before they will be willing to allocate more spend to mobile.
Another challenge for CPGs that is getting in the way of them allocating more of their marketing budgets to mobile is figuring out how to integrate mobile with their other marketing efforts.
Despite these issues, there is no denying that consumers are increasingly engaging with their mobile devices for a variety of activities, from consuming content to comparing prices in stores.
As a result, it makes sense for any major brand to be where their consumers are.
“Advertisers need to follow their audience,” said Paran Johar, chief marketing officer at Jumptap, Cambridge, MA. “With 50 percent of the US owning a smartphone, consumers are dictating to all advertisers how they want to receive their message and where.
“At Jumptap, we’re seeing mobile click-through rates that are double and triple internet click-through rates – those numbers are a big factor in a brand’s decision to leverage mobile,” he said.
Now that July is coming to an end, it also means another successful Cash Mob has come and gone. This month, the lucky store to get mobbed was Blak’s Bakery. Chances are that if you’ve had a Paszki here in Windsor, you have already experienced the delightful expertise of Blak’s Bakery and you might not even know it! Around for nearly 100 years at the same location, this family business has provided Windsorites with baked good for almost a century – that is pretty amazing! Sitting down with Tony Blak and talking about some of the history their building holds – how his father started the business and what his business model was compared to today’s was very interesting. Could you imagine door-to-door bread delivery by horse and buggy? That is how it used to be done.
I’d encourage everyone to head over to Blak’s Bakery and pickup some baked goods, support a local business and let’s make sure they are around for another 100 years!
Ever since the first Cash Mob event in March 2012, Cash Mob Windsor has been getting more and more support! Now, 4 months later, we are proud to introduce the official Ca$h Mob Windsor T-shirts! Getting your very own shirt is relatively easy as well! Simply contact Ca$h Mob Windsor through their facebook page or you can contact Kelly Ouellette directly here. All proceeds go back into the Ca$h Mob Windsor program to help spread the word!
Your next chance to become a Mobster is July 28 @ 9pm. We will meet at the corner of Erie and Parent. I hope to see you there – make sure to say hello!
Thank you for your ongoing support everyone!
Written by: Josh Wheeler
Business Developer at Wheeler’s
Yet another company is soon to be mobbed by participants willing to support local Windsor businesses. Ca$h Mob of Wind$or, Wheeler’s Printing, and companies all over Walkerville are supporting this next event!
On April 26th, 2012, Girard & Company (see picture) was mobbed by our Ca$h Mob members! Droves of people showed up to help support the local flower and gift shop by spending a minimum of $20, resulting in over $1000 in one day sales! But the value was not just in the one time purchases, but in the exposure that Girard & Company received by being mobbed by well over 50 people. Parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, and everyone in between showed up to promote how wonderful Windsor businesses really are.
Wheeler’s is doing its part to help support local businesses. With every dollar spent at a Ca$h Mob event, Wheeler’s will give $0.20 back to the mobbed company for promotional products! Plus, every member of the Ca$h Mob will receive free handouts while mobbing the unsuspecting company.
The next Ca$h Mob event is this Saturday, May 26th at 3:00pm. We are meeting at the corner of Kildare and Wyandotte to plan our mobbing!
Thanks to all of the participants in advance for helping us show how amazing Windsor is!
Wheeler’s Printing and Copying
(519) 254 – 5237
Just wanted to share some neat videos that were posted by some participants! We love the community involvement!
Watch the videos and make sure you make it out June 23 for the next Cash Mob – Stay tuned for more information as the date gets closer! Don’t forget to share the videos and help spread the word!
Cash Mob May 26, 2012 at hodge podge
Cash Mob April 26, 2012 at Girard & Company Flowers
Written by: Josh Wheeler of Wheeler’s Printing & Copying
If you haven’t heard of it in the news already, Ca$h Mob of Wind$or is sweeping the town by creating awareness of local companies…. and Wheeler’s had to be a part of it!
Minutes to 6:00pm on Thursday, April 26th, Ca$h Mob of Wind$or and Wheeler’s prepared their mobbing of an unexpecting store. Gathering its participants, they marched into “Girard & Company Flowers and Gifts” with $20 bills in their hands, ready to support the local business with their excitement to buy local.
Inspired by Flash Mobs, Ca$h Mobs are known nationwide and are growing in popularity. By grouping people together that are willing to spend a minimum of $20, Ca$h Mobs help raise awareness of the benefits of buying local, and allow its participants to experience a store that may have gone under the radar before.
Wheeler’s Printing & Copying has been supporting local companies in Windsor for over 18 years! We have been more than grateful for all the business we have received from others in the community and Ca$h Mob of Wind$or was just another chance to prove how amazing Windsor can be.
Thank you to all the participants for coming out and supporting local businesses such as “Girard & Company Flowers and Gifts”. Thanks to you, we have raised money and awareness of what it feels like to buy local.
Wheeler’s Printing & Copying
Two local companies join forces to present a morning of interactive learning about marketing your business. Join Lora Crestan from Solstice Group and Rick Neufeld from Wheeler’s Printing for an inspirational learning day that will move your marketing strategy in new directions.
Whether you are a beginner, wondering where to start, or a seasoned veteran looking for ways to develop new connections and expand your online reputation, learn to use LinkedIn to communicate with new prospects, enhance your brand and integrate this social media tool into your marketing strategy.
“Marketing in theory is one thing, putting it into practice takes work. Before you build a strategy, you need to understand all the media available and how they can intersect and connect. We are constantly evolving in what is available so this morning will help business owners understand what they can do and how to measure their success, saving them time and money in the future.” says Rick Neufeld, General Manager of Wheeler’s Printing.
This half day event will take place at the Caboto Club on Thursday April 26th, 2012 from 8:30 am – 11:30 am. The agenda includes a refresher on LinkedIn by Ms. Crestan, a learning session on using multi-media tools to expand your brand reach and create a measurable track for your marketing plan from Mr. Neufeld and then an extension of LinkedIn with a 2.0 discussion and activity wrapping it all up.
“LinkedIn is a key to success for many professionals. Understanding how to use this tool can expand your reach globally. I have had personal success with this and want to share my process to help others be successful. The 2.0 part of the day includes building a company page, status updates that work, group interaction that makes sense and measurement of your profile’s reach.” says Lora Crestan – Leadership Coach, Solstice Group.
So, if you want to learn what the best way is to spend your marketing dollars? Is it traditional methods such as direct mail or by mass media such as magazine ads, billboards or T.V.? With so many social media sites emerging everyday, is that where you should focus your marketing efforts? The correct answer is all of the above – Neufeld and Crestan will show you how to integrate all of them into your marketing efforts.
Early bird tickets $35 until April 18th, 2012. Seats are limited – laptop or tablet required to get the best benefit out of this morning session. For more information call 519-735-6820.
Also use our #tttwindsor in your Twitter posts.
Tickets for Tips, Tricks & Tracks are on sale now at www.TTTWindsor.com
GLISC’s Build and Grow your Business event will be taking place on March 22, 2012 at The Caboto Club in Windsor, Ontario. You won’t want to miss this event!
This first event focuses on new and emerging businesses. If you’ve just started a business or are considering one, or companies looking to grow or expand their existing business, this event is right up your alley. Each presenter’s focus is to deliver useful information that you can use right away and get your business idea off on solid footing.
Running a business is challenging in the best of times, so getting the right information from people who have a unique insight is very valuable. GLISC Networking Group understands the value of knowledge and as such positions itself as a teacher in many respects. Join us in March and not only learn some very valuable tips but networking among our regions best and brightest business people.
The Build and Grow Your Business workshop includes a continental breakfast, a hearty lunch and beverages throughout the day. The fee covers everything and the format allows you to pick a few sessions or join them all throughout the day. GLISC’s goal is to provide an ongoing series of learning workshops, so help us to make this first a smashing success!”
To see the speakers list, as well as to register, visit GLISC’s website.