Rocket Mortgage Volunteers Win TMN’s ‘Santa’s Helper’ Charity Contest

Across the country, mortgage professionals step up to help those in need every holiday season so we at The Mortgage Note decided to celebrate organizations and their employees who recognize the importance of giving back to their communities.

On November 30, we started a contest asking members of the mortgage industry to submit photos and a brief description of the charity work they’re doing this year. The winner would earn a $1,000 donation from TMN to their highlighted charity.

Valerie Pesonen, a senior manager in public relations at Rock Central, sent in a submission for Rocket Mortgage in Detroit, Michigan that warmed our hearts.

Pesonen highlighted three community outreach programs the company participates in, including the Rocket Mortgage Cause Campaign to combat homelessness.

Members of the Rocket Mortgage team also supported Operation Good Cheer, a Lansing, Michigan, based charity that collects Christmas gives for more than 6,600 foster-care children across the country.

Supporters, like the Rocket Mortgage employees, buy and wrap Christmas gifts, fulfilling each child’s “wish list” they sent to Operation Good Cheer. On the first Friday in December these gifts are picked up, loaded, and transported by volunteer trucking companies and their drivers to Pentastar Aviation at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, MI. Volunteer pilots and drivers then transport the gifts to foster kids for Christmas morning.

“Rocket Mortgage team members ensure that every child receives every item on the list, plus a hat, coat, and gloves to stay warm for the winter. Once the items are wrapped onsite at the Rocket Mortgage headquarters, semi-trucks pick up the gifts and take them to the airport. From there, pilots donate their time and energy to fly the gifts all over the state, working with social workers to ensure presents are delivered directly to the children’s door in time for the holiday,” Pesonen wrote.

Volunteers load Christmas gifts into an airplane as part of Operation Good Cheer

She said that in 2021, team members “adopted” 450 foster children and worked together to shop for and wrap every single gift, explaining that foster care agencies across Michigan collaborate to provide information about the children and what each of them put on their wish list.

“Rocket Mortgage team members have done this annually for the last decade and a donation from The Mortgage Note would mean the world for the hundreds of children who will have a memorable holiday in 2022,” Pesonen said.

We hope our donation of $1,000 helps those children have a brighter holiday in 2022.

Stacks of toys bought and wrapped by Rocket Mortgage employees await delivery for Christmas morning.

Thank you to the Rocket Mortgage team members who put these children without permanent homes first. You inspire us to do more to help those in need.

We wish all of our readers a happy holiday season and best of luck in 2022!


Kimberley Haas

Editor, The Mortgage Note