During a season when so many are focused on year-end campaigns and encouraging donors to give back, DRG Group member, Angie Joens, challenges you to embrace the season of giving and find ways for you (and hopefully your team) to get involved in your community.
I love the holidays – no seriously – I love the holidays. I love the decorations, the baking, finding the perfect gift, time with family and friends, the music, the lights, and especially the Hallmark movies – all of it.
And I know I am not alone – even the grinchiest (is that even a word) person will crack a smile when you hand him/her some holiday goodies. I have so much love for everyone around me I do not even know where to put it all. I want everyone to feel this way so I often find a charity to support to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to celebrate the season.
Recently I saw a post on social media that challenged us to put an item of food in a box each day through the month of December. So I started right after Thanksgiving and I plan to do this every day until I leave for the holiday break. The daily practice of putting another item in the box will be a reminder of all that I have and keep me focused on how I can share that with others.
You can add one item a day or purchase several items every time you shop. Get your family involved in this project of giving. What a great lesson to teach others about the joy of giving. You can focus on food items or practical donations or a combination of both. Here are a few ideas:
Spaghetti sauce and pasta
Canned meats (tuna, chicken, beef stew, etc)
Peanut butter and jelly
Macaroni & cheese
Biscuit or baking mixes, particularly those that require only water
Boxed meals that require only water
You can also give practical donations such as:
Bars of soap
Shampoo & conditioner
Need other ideas? I asked the Donor Relations Guru Group how they plan on giving back this holiday season, and here's what they shared:
Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or food bank.
Adopt a family or child during the holiday and give them a holiday to remember. Get your office team involved and adopt a family in lieu of exchanging gifts.
Donate professional attire to an organization that helps people prepare for a job interview. At the University of Florida their team is donating to the University’s Career Closet so students have clothes for their first job interview.
Help Meals on Wheels deliver meals to shut-ins.
Decorate the Ronald McDonald House or provide meals for the families who spend time there during the holidays.
Do Random Acts of Kindness all month long.
Take your team out to volunteer at a local charity in lieu of a party or luncheon.
Offer to help your gift processing team – it is their busiest time of the year. Pitch in and help them open envelopes, ply them with coffee and snacks, or answer their phones for them.
If these ideas do not work for you check out this website for additional service projects.
I hope you will join us in this challenge this holiday season – there are so many people in our communities who will benefit from your generosity. If you do, post on social media – you never know who you will inspire!