December 21, 2012

Wichita Business Journal
Daniel McCoy

Wichita businesses find giving back can be the best gift for their clients

It’s that time of year when offices throughout Wichita are filled with holiday greeting cards and gifts big and small from customers and vendors.

But some Wichita businesses have seized the opportunity to support a good cause, have a little fun or both.

For nearly two decades, Greteman Group has rolled out a campaign around Christmas in which it donates money on behalf of its clients to a charitable cause.

This year’s campaign, the “Gift of Lift,” supports the Aviation Green Alliance program of the Lindbergh Foundation, which focuses on eco-friendly innovation in the aerospace industry.

But Greteman, which makes its money being creative, also took the opportunity to get the creative juices of its clients flowing.

Along with a card announcing the donation made on their behalf, clients get a kit of pre-cut cardboard parts that allows recipients to make their own flying machines.

They can then upload photos of their creations to a special website, and there anyone can vote on their favorites.

Don’t expect the creative types at Greteman to go down without a fight. Around the agency’s Wichita office are all sorts of creations made from the kits, including a few Star Wars-inspired craft and a replica of the Mars rover that employees Landon Barton and Seth Duncan built using two kits — plus the box one of them came in.

“We’re super-nerds,” Barton says.

Sonia Greteman, president and creative director at Greteman Group, says the campaign has been well received and fits with the agency’s efforts to win work with the aviation industry.

“It’s so much fun. Our clients have really gotten into it,” Greteman says. “But it also helps the community. They really like seeing a charity being supported. It’s got legs beyond just being fun.”

Inspired to give back

The law firm Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock and Kennedy, Chartered, is in its second year of offering a charitable donation on behalf of clients.

Last year’s donations were given to the Kansas Food Bank.

This year, inspired by some employees’ battles with breast cancer, the money is going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, says attorney and marketing director Cameron Michaud.

“It’s been really well received,” Michaud says. “Clients write us back to say thanks. We just wanted to do something to give back. People seem to have really appreciated that.”