Delray Beach Christmas Tree
|Giving. Charity. Selflessness. In a country plagued with excessive spending combined with extreme poverty at its peak in the last three decades, it seems more crucial than ever to remember to give selflessly. Over the recent years, the media has captured celebrities opening their hearts (and wallets) to victims of disaster after catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina. Not too long ago, Oprah Winfrey gave her 300-member audience $1000 each toward the “Pay it Forward Challenge”, to come up with inspiring and creative ways to help others. Oprah said that although she had given cars and her favorite things to her audience, giving these items brought her as much happiness as it did to those receiving her gifts, and that she wished to pass this feeling on to her audience. Kahlil Jibran said, “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
Let’s look at one story of giving and making a difference in the community. This is the story of Meisner Electric, Inc.’s contribution to of the electrical service towards the Delray Beach 100-foot Christmas tree. Building Solutions Magazine had the opportunity of getting the “inside scoop” from Service Electrician Scott Oberg of Meisner Electric. Scott has been with Meisner Electric for over 14 years and has been involved directly with this project during the past eight years. Scott informed us of Meisner Electric’s role in this tradition of building and installing the tree: “Meisner Electric’s role is doing whatever is needed electrically to put up the tree, including running out stringers, testing them, and hanging them. Our role, however, goes beyond electrical work. We often fulfill other requests from the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce when possible.”
We asked Scott if the tree assembly process had changed during his involvement. He said that the process has become more efficient and streamlined. The result is a smoother operation overall and less man-hours needed to build the tree. The size of the workforce involved with this project had also increased, from just two other individuals eight years ago to over 21 workers today!
Along with the satisfaction of seeing the tree lit in front of the 500,000+ audience members, the Christmas Tree project also inspires other positive results, not visible to the public eye. This project allows a rare opportunity for employees from the Meisner Electric office at Delray Beach to work side-by-side with Meisner Electric’s service and production teams. Scott states, “These employees derive much satisfaction from the project. Many return to this project year after year. There is a huge sense of accomplishment and pride from the folks involved. Note that the involvement of these individuals is not publicized, even at Meisner Electric.” We asked him what this act of involvement within the Delray Beach community says about Meisner Electric as a company. He said it meant that “(Meisner Electric) is involved as a community, and gives back as a community. This is why I like to do it, and have continued to come back every year. This demonstrates a ‘mom and pop’, hometown feeling. I enjoy that aspect.”
Speaking with employees that came out on Saturday afternoon to work on the tree, Building Solutions Magazine discovered that several employees like to contribute personally in different ways. Scott told us of his own work with a group that is involved with Thanksgiving dinner drives. They provide meals or funds to families that do not have the means to have a proper Thanksgiving dinner. Scott also contributes to a Meisner Electric-sponsored Office Depot project, where 7th and 8th grade students from all over the community come together and become exposed to a variety of trades. The students too become part of the Christmas Tree, by helping out with tree-fluffing and other jobs that don’t require technical expertise.
Meisner Electric is proud of its employees that have worked toward the electrical installation of the Delray Beach Christmas Tree, especially those who work behind the spotlight. The Christmas Tree project embodies a true community effort, comprised of members of the City of Delray Beach, other companies that contribute their services, senior volunteers, and of course Meisner Electric employees.
We hope during this holiday season to inspire our readers to embrace the holiday spirit and take at least one small step to help another individual or family. We hope that each of us has the blessing of experiencing the “feeling” that Oprah alluded to. As we captured the delight of the audience in Downtown Delray on November 29, 2007 during the tree-lighting ceremony, we remembered the words of Edith Wharton, “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”