Do Good, Feel Good

Dec 05, 2013

Can you believe the first week of December is almost over? The holiday season is already well on its way! Before you scratch everything off your must-buy gift list, consider adding a line on how you plan to give back this year.

Giving back during the holidays benefits the community and if you participate in an event or drive at your office, it’s easy to get involved and the effort can help to strengthen the ties between your company and the respective charitable organizations. Not to mention, it also keeps you from turning into a Grinch!

To begin organizing ways to give back in your office, first identify someone who can serve as the representative to help coordinate and manage the community service projects. In a larger office, try establishing a community service committee to help distribute the roles and responsibilities amongst the team.

Next, check out these giving-back ideas you can bring to your office this holiday season: 

1.)    Volunteer at a Food Bank

Ditch the heels and briefcase for some tennis shoes and a cardboard box. Plan a day of team bonding that involves packing boxes of non-perishable items at your local food bank for local families to pick up during the holiday season. Simply call your local food bank to inquire about their volunteer hours and find a 3-4 hour window that works for your group. At the end of the volunteer session, each person will receive a form with the total amount of food packed which can be written off on annual taxes. This concept could be a great alternative to an end of the year holiday party if budgets are tight.

2.)    Arrange an ‘Angel’ Tree

Also known as an “Adopt a Family” tree, this concept will literally make you feel like Santa Claus. Work with a local shelter or related non-profit to get information on the “wants” and “needs” of families or children in your area.

This is a great way for large groups of people to participate and feel like they are making a significant impact on someone’s life. For that extra personal touch, your office or team could deliver the gifts to the family in person.

This week, AT&T coordinated an angel tree and asked employees to pick up tags for children they would like to adopt. Each child wrote one “want” and one “need” on their wish list.

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Employees purchased those “want” and “need” gifts, then wrapped them in bags and placed them under the tree. At the end of the week, the coordinator of the “Angel Tree” would work with the local nonprofit to schedule a pick up the gifts so they can be delivered to the families in time for the holidays.

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3.) Coordinate a Food or Clothing Drive

Start an annual trend by launching a food or clothing drive with your colleagues. All it takes is a brown box and an email. Be sure to let everyone in your office know how long you plan to leave the box out to collect donations, what types of items to bring in and how their donations will benefit someone in need.

For convenience, make sure boxes are located on each floor with pamphlets outlining the details of the clothing or food drive. At the end of the donation period, the coordinator can collect the boxes and deliver them to the charity for distribution.

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4.)    Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen  

One of the most valuable and rewarding ways to give is to interact with the people you’re helping. Arrange a half-day to volunteer with colleagues at your local soup kitchen. Plan to arrive late in the afternoon to begin preparing the giant meal for the homeless that evening. Once dinner rolls around, you and your colleagues will have the opportunity to serve and converse with many hungry men and women.

How does your business give back during the holidays? Tell us by connecting on social: #GiveBack

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