Dec, 01, 2014
Santa’s sLeIghMO has become a tradition at HMS. Combining “sleigh” and limo,” the 1994 Lincoln Continental limousine is used to deliver toys to children suffering from cancer during the holidays. The entire staff works to encourage partners, supporters and local businesses to collect tours that are then picked up by SleighMo and delivered to the ultimate destination. In 2014, more than 1,000 gifts were donated to children at Novant Health’s Hemby Children's Hospital.
Todd sat down and explained how #sLeIghMO came to be:
- What made you decide to buy a 1994 Lincoln Continental? My friend Todd Braun was selling it and I figured why not buy this and do something really unique with it that holds true to the HMS culture.
- How did sLeIghMO come to be? Once I owned the Lincoln Continental, I wanted to create something that our whole team could support. I thought if we did it around the holidays we could involve partners and local supporters to create a conversation. Today, we wrap that limo in a decal that makes it look like Santa’s sleigh and go around to our friends, vendors and local places of work to collect present donations for kids in need. The whole program led to the creation of our charity, HMS Cares whose mission statement is to better the life of children with pediatric cancer.
- Why pediatric cancer? My wife, Shannon, and I were really affected by the loss of our friend’s 3-year-old daughter last May. She fought a 13-month battle with cancer but ultimately lost that fight right before her fourth birthday. We saw what they went through and wanted to bring just a small piece of joy to kids and families experiencing that same battle during the holidays.
- What’s been your biggest surprise about sLeIghMO? How quickly the program was accepted by our friends and supporters. The first year, we filled up about half of the limo with gifts. Three years later, we couldn’t even close the trunk.
- How do you find supporters? We ask each employee to come up with a list of 10 suggested partners who they reach out to and ask for donations. After three years of doing this, we also receive tremendous support from companies and individuals that have donated in the past.