Behind the Scenes

In addition to Employee Shoutouts, The Journey is going to highlight an Odyssey employee each quarter, celebrating their pursuit of an uplifting endeavor (unrelated to Odyssey’s core business) in their free time.

Beth Adams, Manager of Business Process Improvement
(Odyssey Corporate Office)

‘Take-A-Tag’ Program

Beth-Adams-Take A Tag Program
Beth (left) and another volunteer, Lelah, with the Take-A-Tag tree that was placed in the North Reading Post Office lobby.

Beth Adams has been involved with her local ‘Take-A-Tag’ program since 2016. The program has been running for over 20 years, through the North Reading Food Pantry. The purpose of this program is to give underprivileged families the ability to provide gifts for their children during the holidays.

Each family writes a wish list for their kids and submits to the Pantry. From there the Pantry generates one tag for each gift and separates those tags accordingly to donors. Beth has been coordinating this logistical effort for the past four years. Historically they’ve helped 30-35 families a season, which is anywhere between 50-60 kids.

Beth notes on the economic health of the program, “People are always overly generous with donations, so we always have extra things; like movie gift cards and restaurant gift cards and we get to give these families so many extra things, which is really rewarding”.

Due to the sensitivity of the program, Beth is given a sanitized list of families to shop for (with only the child’s age and gender indicated). She can get some details about families after the fact, but only if they decide to send a thank you letter. Beth recalled:

“We received a thank you letter from a mother whose husband had passed away from a terminal illness—she had twin daughters she was raising on her own, both of whom were on the autism spectrum. The mom told us that her daughters never get to go to the movies, but since they had received extra movie gift cards, they had not stopped talking about all of the movies they could see. It was extremely sweet.”

Beth takes time out of her day in the busiest season of the year to help families in her community have a happy holiday season.

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