The holidays are in full swing!  Facebook was kind enough to remind us that today is “Giving Tuesday,” a day on which we are asked to give a little to a cause near and dear to our hearts. In fact, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, along with Facebook, have even offered to match fundraising contributions and increase the impact.  What a great way to “be the change” in very real, meaningful ways.  Read more here.

Have you considered giving today? This month? This season? If not, there is still time for you and your organization to make a difference!  And the benefits of supporting community efforts in your area are many. Did you know that:

  1. Conscious acts of kindness have been scientifically proven to improve your mood, which then increases your productivity and creativity. Remember the adage, it’s better to give than to receive? Turns out, that’s true. 
  2. Doing things for the community with your team helps show team members that they’re part of something bigger than themselves, which can earn you greater team member loyalty and retention (and also save you money on hiring and training in the future).
  3. Sharing your love for local non-profits also helps earn you the loyalty and support of your community, which in turn can increase sales.
  4. The people and organizations you help can go on to make their own difference in the world, and that just makes life better for everyone.

When you help others, everyone wins. Even the littlest bit can go a long way. But what can you do? Here are some ideas to help get you started:

  • Host a drive in your facility. This can be for non-perishable food items, toys, coats, toiletries, clothes or any variation. Maybe offer a special or incentive to guests and team members who participate, such as a gift card, a food item, or a discount.
  • Call your local food bank and ask what items or support they are lacking at this time. Often they need help distributing items, which can be a terrific team building event.
  • Call a local homeless shelter to see what needs they have. The shelters often need basic necessities, coats and blankets.
  • Work with the local Housing Authority or a non-profit to adopt a family for the holidays. They need everything from basic household items to clothes and gifts and are a great way for your team to come together.
  • Volunteer as a team at a local shelter, soup kitchen or children’s hospital. The Ronald McDonald house offers a place for families to stay nearby those being treated, and groups can volunteer to provide and cook meals for those in-house.
  • Call your local animal shelters or rescues, and assist with pet adoption drives, raising money or necessary items to care for our furry friends.

The possibilities are endless, and honestly like Walt Disney said, “if you can dream it, you can do it.”  So I encourage you to start being the change you wish to see in the world. Today.  #GivingTuesday.

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