Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) held its 26th Annual Christmas Smorgasbord Luncheon at its Central Office location on December 19, 2018. The agency came together to celebrate the Christmas holiday season, and to fellowship with not only employees, but also with community leaders and elected officials throughout Hinds County, and with corporate partners from around the state.
Close to 300 guests enjoyed a wonderful holiday feast which consisted of turkey, ham, dressing and a variety of sides and desserts. HCHRA gave away door prizes that ranged from gift cards to ceramic dishes, bed sets and wall lamps – all donated by friends and supporters of the agency. While the Smorgasbord has built up quite a reputation for having good food and gifts, the biggest attraction seems to be the Christmas decorations.
Each year, HCHRA holds an annual Christmas decorating competition among each department at Central Office to see which one comes out on top. Administration, Children Services, Department of Family Opportunities, Fiscal, Head Start Administration, and Personnel were all a part of the competition. The first place winner receives three days off with pay, second place receives two, while third place receives one. Individual staff persons also have the opportunity to decorate their offices and office doors in hopes of winning a day off for a first place reward. An independent panel of judges is selected from outside of the agency, and departments are judged on theme, creativity, originality, showmanship and special effects. “While decorating is a serious competition among colleagues, the contest was created as a fun way to promote team building and create a festive environment for our employees as well as our guests to enjoy,” said Kenn Cockrell, HCHRA president and CEO. The theme for the competition – “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas” – really lived up to its name.
“Staff came together and totally transformed Central Office into all things Christmas,” said Cockrell. Administration won first place, with Children’s Services coming in second, and Head Start Administration coming in third. Linda Norwood, purchasing specialist, won first place for best individual office, and Carlene Parker, communications specialist, won first place for best individual door.
The Christmas Smorgasbord came to a close with everyone joining in to sing Christmas carols, but not before the agency’s CEO shared words of appreciation and well wishes for the new year. “I would like to thank everyone for coming here today and for the role that each of you plays in helping HCHRA remain successful. I appreciate your hard work and dedication. Let’s continue to reach new heights in 2019,” said Cockrell.