For 11 years, Emmaüs Défi has been organising its Super Christmas: a big charity sale of new and second-hand toys. This year, more than 13,000 toys collected during the autumn are being sold at affordable prices so that nobody has to go without presents during the festive season. To organise this great festive campaign, the charity has able to count on its partners, including the Societe Generale Foundation, which has sponsored Emmaüs Défi since 2011.
A great Christmas for all
Emmaüs Défi, since its creation in 2007, has been developing innovative programmes and solutions to encourage the social and vocational integration of people utterly excluded from society. The Super Christmas is especially intended for families for whom the festive season is a source of financial stress; according to the French office of statistics, INSEE, in 2016, 5 million French people were living on less than €855 net per month. "First, there was a private sale for the beneficiaries of the Banque Solidaire de l’Equipement who received their first social housing unit during the year and needed to furnish it", explains Philippine Garde, head of development and communications at Emmaüs Défi. "On Saturday 8 December, for the first sale open to the public, we had over 3,500 visitors." In addition to offering toys at reduced prices, the association also wanted to bring the magic of Christmas into the shop: drawing and craft workshops were organised for the children and Father Christmas himself was in attendance!
Another opportunity for Societe Generale employees to get involved
Emmaüs Défi has been a Major Partner of the Societe Generale Foundation since 2014. In this way the two parties work closely together to ensure that the bank's employees regularly take part in skill-based sponsorship activities. The preparation of Super Christmas thus kept about a dozen employees busy over a number of weeks on various activities. A collection organised at the Societe Generale head office on 19 November contributed over 300 toys. Some employees also helped to sort, label and pack the toys over several afternoons during the month of November.
Others, such as Maria Tazi, head of publishing within the Societe Generale communications department, chose to help out the sales team in the Riquet shop for the first weekend of sales. "It wasn't just a question of selling; I talked to lots of customers, because they come along to have a chat and enjoy a moment of human contact", she says. "It was a great opportunity. I thought it was extraordinary. And I'm sure I'll do it again!”
The commitment of all the Emmaüs Défi stakeholders made this first sale a real success. The campaign continues: until the stocks of toys run out, Super Christmas will continue in the Riquet shop, but also in the Emmaüs Défi store in 'CentQuatre', the cultural centre in the 19th Arrondissement of Paris.