Converge Supports Project Uplift to Provide Christmas Gifts to Underprivileged Children

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During tough economic times, local Mass. companies like Converge are doing even more to help the less fortunate in the communities where their employees live. Converge is donating over 300 Christmas gifts this year to Project Uplift.

It's becoming known as the Mittens Program

Converge is a highly competitive workplace, and hundreds of underprivileged kids on the North Shore couldn't be happier about it. This year the hard-working employees of Converge are not only donating Christmas gifts to Gloucester-based Project Uplift, but are actually competing in teams to generate more gifts than ever.

"It's becoming known as the Mittens Program," explained Converge's CEO Frank Cavallaro. Converge's human resources department arranges colored cutouts of mittens on a wall in the company's cafeteria. Each mitten represents a gift for a child specific to that child's gender and age. As the mittens disappear, gifts magically appear courtesy of competing teams of Converge employees.

"We've been participating in Project Uplift for almost 10 years now," said Mr. Cavallaro. "With the economy being more of a concern this year, we wanted to come up with a way to play a bigger role in easing the burden on families over the holidays. There are a lot of families who have to choose between basic family needs and gifts for their kids. We are trying to ease that stress for these families. It's our way of giving something back to our community during the holidays."

So far this year the elves at Converge, working in teams of 10, have provided more than 350 presents. A variety of Converge vendors and partners are helping out by donating Secret Santa prizes to the Converge team that provides the most gifts. These companies include MicroTech, CH Robinson, Sir Charles Limousine, BNY Mellon, Danvers Paper, Ocean Electronics, G2PR, Personal Training by Heather Thompson and Ocean Air Global Logistics.

It's all part of the annual Project Uplift program that gathers Christmas gifts for disadvantaged families living on Cape Ann and in the surrounding communities of Massachusetts' North Shore. Run by Action Inc., Project Uplift donated more than 2,500 gifts last year and hopes to exceed that number this year, with much thanks to innovative ideas like the Mittens Program.

"We are very grateful to Mr. Cavallaro and to all the people at Converge," said Action Inc. Executive Director Bill Rochford. "They have always been more than generous, and with this new idea they'll be an even bigger part of our success during a very difficult time for our community. Overall, we could not accomplish our Christmas goals [without] the help of Converge."

North Shore residents and businesses can donate presents to Project Uplift by placing gifts in boxes located conveniently in community centers and stores throughout the area. Check the Project Uplift Website for exact locations. The costs of gifts are tax-deductible. The presents are distributed in gift bags of four to five presents per child. Ages of the recipients range from infant to 12 years old.

About Converge
Converge is a global supply chain partner for technology-driven companies. The organization's three business divisions are dedicated to just-in-time distribution of electronic components, comprehensive reverse supply chain solutions and secure IT asset disposition. Founded in 1980, Converge is headquartered in Peabody, Mass., and has offices in Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Irvine, Calif.; Singapore; and Amsterdam, along with support centers throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. For more information about Converge, visit http://www.converge.com.

About Action Inc.
Action Inc.'s mission is to improve the quality of life for low-income residents of Cape Ann by minimizing the effects of poverty, promoting economic security and advocating for social change.
Action Inc. has been providing human services for Greater Cape Ann since 1965. Action Inc. serves Gloucester, Ipswich, Rockport, Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Hamilton/Wenham. Action Inc.'s main offices are in Gloucester, Mass.

For more information, visit http://www.actioninc.org.

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PETER GREER
Converge
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