The giving spirit of the holidays

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day…or is it Black Friday. The line between the two has become blurred, particularly this year with many stores now offering blockbuster deals on Thanksgiving Day. With all the talk about holiday shopping, I fear that many of us are forgetting what the holidays are really about.

For me, the holidays are about family and friends. It’s also about community and I’m thankful to live in the Green Bay area where people truly do care about their neighbors. There’s no better reminder of that than The Salvation Army Red Kettles that greet shoppers at so many locations throughout the area. It’s a reminder that the true giving spirit of the holidays is more than buying a lot of Christmas gifts for family and friends.
So once we get past the insanity of Black Friday shopping, let’s think about the things we can do for others:   

  • Volunteer – Take some time out from shopping to spend some time helping your favorite non-profit. Volunteers are the key to the success of most charitable organizations. The Christmas season is a great time to ring bells for The Salvation Army or prepare a meal at the local homeless shelter. Giving your time and energy is a great gift during the holidays and at other times of the year. 
  • Plan an office fundraiser – How about an office bake sale or a silent auction to raise money. Or even a special weekly or monthly lunch can be a good fundraising activity. If everyone gets involved, then the nickels and dimes can add up to a healthy donation to a needy organization. 
  • Collect food or toys – Many organizations are looking for non-perishable food donations or toys during the Christmas season. If everyone in the office donates a can of food or a toy, those items can collectively make a difference for a less fortunate family’s holiday season. But don’t limit yourself to the holidays, food pantries need your help throughout the year. 
Charitable efforts in the workplace can lead to improved teamwork. You’ll also reap the benefits of knowing that you’ve done something to help those in need. What types of things are you doing this holiday season or in 2013?