Supporting Boston & US Veterans

After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the theme “Boston Strong” rang out.  This terrifc small yet big city pulled together and brought themselves back as one.  “Spring hopes eternal” and as proof, the people of Boston planted 100,000 yellow daffodils along the route of the legendary 26.2 mile course.  On the day of the race, the daffodils were in full bloom for the runners, supporters and the tens of thousands of fans lining the streets to see.  Even today, these daffodilsare planted in memorial to the tragedy which occurred in the city’s recent past.  And still today, the city is electrified as 30,000 runners, plus the tens of thousands of family, friends, and supporters arrive for the race. This event takes place on the 3rd Monday in April and showcases the spirit and pride of Boston.  There is no better place then in Boston on Marathon Monday.

Our President, Barry Zimmermann, was moved by the stories of the survivors and inspired by the resilience of these athletes and the great people of Boston.  He decided to drastically increase his daily miles in order  to run the 2014 marathon.  He ran in support of the National Wounded Warrior Center located in Mammoth Mountain, CA.  The Center empowers wounded, sick and injured servicemen and women by facilitating their transitions into fulfilling civilian lives.  The Center rehabilitates, educates and offers counseling to these heroes.  He continues to run this marathon, having completed 3 and failed to finish in one.  As a cavaet, it was in 2018 and easily the worst weather the race has ever encountered.  But he did return to finish in 2019 and is planning to run it again in 2021.

Inch by Inch

Like every company, Amazon is dropping off packages for BGA or its employees on a daily basis.  Years ago, in an effort to make our purchases meaningful, we have adopted the Amazon Smile Program to support our favorite charities.  As you may know, with each purchase Amazon will donate 0.5% of the sale to a chosen charitable organization.  We at BGA believe that nothing is too small, every little bit counts and are continuously searching out new ways to have our day’sactions benefit the communities around us.  If you haven’t already, please take a moment to go to Amazon Smile, find your favorite charity and set them up as the recipient of your account.

Ronald McDonald House

Since 1974, this unique charity provides a home away from home for families of seriously ill or injured children receiving treatment at nearby residences to area hospitals.  Today, it has grown to 368 locations in 64 countries.  We are fortunate to have a RM House near our office and on the campus of Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

The BGA team regularly contributes the food, our time and cooking skills and prepares meals for the families whose children are receiving care at CHOC.  However, due to COVID, the team had to suspend their in-person meal prep and instead arranged for food to be brought in from local restaurants.

For a fun holiday activity, we provided pre-made gingerbread houses along with wide assortment of decorations and frosting.  Each family was able to assemble and decorate their own house. The activity was highly spirited and showcased each family’s creativity.

The Pandemic Battle

Early in the pandemic, CBS’ 60 Minutes aired a piece on Melba’s Kitchen in Harlem.  The owner, Melba was fraught with the decision of having to let half of her employees go and possibly losing her once successful and well-loved restaurant.  During the airing of the episode, someone called in to the restaurant and ordered food for the hospital workers at nearby Harlem Hospital which was the official COVID testing site for NYC and where they had been flooded with COVID patients.  Many of us at BGA saw the show, and we too wanted to help. The following morning, we called and spoke with Melba herself!  BGA purchased over 300 lunches for the first line hospital staff at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Our Better Angels

Horrified, while watching George Floyd slowly being put to death, many of us at BGA were immediately discussing what can be done?  And what can we do?  We did online searches followed by our own research to find the top charities that work with the Black community.  We based it on reputation, ratings, what percentage goes to work versus administration, and whom do they serve.  We asked for everyone’s opinion to narrow the choices.

We then went outside of our office and asked others; leaning on those that would have a better understanding of this social injustice.  Overwhelmingly, 100% chose The Obama Foundation whose mission is to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world.  We contacted the Foundation directly and made a heartfelt contribution to this Foundation.

Further Support for Front Line Workers

On Christmas Eve, BGA arranged for a food truck to visit St Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA. Our employees loaded carts with hot food and drinks as each department representative came down to receive dinner for their hard-working team.  These front line workers were pulling long shifts over the Christmas holiday as their hospital ward was above capacity with COVID-19 patients.  Janitors, Nurses, Doctors and hospital staff were well fed by the Bratzermann food truck.  In all, 250 individuals who were not going to spend Christmas Eve with their families, had a wonderful, warm and tasty meal at no cost to them.