Columbus, Ohio – November 14, 2019 – It’s the holidays. As we swing into the season, many companies - and their employees – aim to be ambassadors for giving locally or nationally. Unwrapping kindness and sharing the magic and wonder of the holidays with those less fortunate by devoting and donating time, dollars or service is at the core of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the holidays offer the perfect opportunity to amp up CSR programs. Below are six tips on how your company can sensibly share time and gifts with the organizations of your choice.
1. Volunteer. Founded by Clara Burton in 1881, the American Red Cross was one of the first organizations in the world to create official volunteer mobilizations, gathering groups of people to help after the Johnstown Flood in 1889. Today, companies can rally their employees to volunteer their time in a number of ways: working at a homeless shelter, a day building homes for Habitat for Humanity, or visiting with the elderly at a senior center. Employees can choose by majority vote or break into groups and do all.
2. Help provide meals to those in need. Organizations like Feeding America® are nation-wide. With a network of more than 200 food banks, Feeding America serves 37 million people, including nearly 14 million children and 3 million seniors, through local agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and after-school programs. Encourage employees to volunteer at a Feeding America food bank or organize a monetary donation drive for this essential group. Or find a local organization that employees can rally behind like Jacksonville, Florida’s Hunger Fight which produces shelf-stable meals for struggling families that are flavorful, nutritious, and easy to prepare. Volunteers, and donations from businesses contribute significantly to their success.
3. Donate toys. One of the best ways to show love and have fun this holiday season is to organize a toy drive. Many local and national charities are happy to distribute toys to children in the neediest families. Relatively easy to do, collect new unwrapped toys in a company lobby or other common area and distribute to a charity a few days before Christmas.
4. Host a Letter Writing Party. More Love Letters is a letter writing campaign that originated in New York. The idea is to send anonymous love letters to people who are going through a difficult time. It’s a unique way to spread holiday cheer to those who need a little love and support during the holidays. Your company could host a writing party by blocking a couple of hours to have co-workers write a few love letters.
5. Adopt a Family. Suggest that employees “adopt” a struggling family, buying them presents or other needed items during the holidays. Companies can partner with a local community center or established charity to help manage this initiative.
6. Donate through travel. Employees will be traveling to visit friends and family during the holidays. Encourage them to book any lodging they need with a company like Red Roof®, which this year has created the Room in Your Heart campaign to give back to charities across the country that assist and support military members, children, and pets. When travelers across the country book direct, they can be a part of the Room in Your Heart campaign. Travelers can book a stay at redroof.com or by calling 800.RED.ROOF, November 11–December 31 and use promo code “Room”. Stay at any Red Roof Inn®, Red Roof PLUS+®, The Red Collection® or a HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof® property and receive a 15% discount on the room rate; in turn the company will donate 15% to their favorite charities, up to $25,000. Get a room, and Red Roof will give back. Booked stays will benefit Flying Horse Farms, Canine Companions, Freedom Alliance and The Sunshine Kids Foundation. Consumers can learn more about Room in Your Heart here.
This year, through their CSR programs, or other organized effort, companies can feel good knowing they have achieved their giving goals. It’s a win-win for everyone.