Today is Giving Tuesday, an official kick-off to the “giving season” that thrives between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. It’s the perfect reminder that besides glistening snowfalls, jingle bells, and mistletoe, the holiday season is one of generosity! Charitable giving throughout the year is becoming more the norm for businesses (which is wonderful), but this time of year usually sees an increase in giving back from both individuals and companies alike. It may seem easier for large corporations with more resources to give back, but small businesses can make a huge impact on their local communities.
Just a little creativity and time can go a long way! Here are a few suggestions for ways that small businesses can give back this holiday season:
Holiday food drives – This is a great idea especially if your business already puts you out into the community interacting with your customers. Mosquito Joe of Baltimore, for example, partners with the Maryland Food Bank each year to donate canned goods to local families during the holidays. On top of their own donations, Mosquito Joe will ask their customers to leave canned goods on their doorsteps during a set period of time, which they will pick up and drop off at the food bank. This is a great way to give back that allows the customers and business to work together to help the community!
Volunteer as a team – Giving back doesn’t have to be in the form of money or food. Giving your time to a local organization is just as valuable. Having your employees volunteer as a team is a unique way to help those in need while facilitating team bonding! Consider volunteering at a local soup kitchen or food pantry, Habitat for Humanity, or gift-wrapping drive.
Donate a Portion of Sales – A simple way to make an impact with a local organization is to donate a portion of your business’ sales over a set period of time. If there is a charity near and dear to your business (or heart), choosing a recipient is fairly easy. If not, survey your employees to see which organizations mean the most to them. You can divide donations and even match those of your employees if you’re able.
Toys for Tots – Toys for Tots is a charity run by the United States Marine Corps that collects unwrapped toys throughout the months of November and December and distributes them to children in need throughout local communities. We hold a Toys for Tots drive here in the Corporate office every year. Visit the Toys for Tots website to find information on your local branch and how you can get involved in making a difference for a child in need this year.
Adopt a family – Donating to charity can be difficult because you can’t usually see an immediate impact from your contribution. Adopting a family who needs assistance during the holidays is a wonderful way to see a personal and immediate result. You can make an even bigger impact by adopting a family as a business and contributing together! While there is no central organization responsible, simply Googling “adopt a family for the holidays” will bring up a list of organizations to partner with in your community. Many allow you to donate food, clothing, toys, and money.
While generosity throughout the holidays enhances the joy of the season, the giving doesn’t have to end come January. All of these ideas can be expanded beyond the holiday season to allow small businesses the opportunity to give back all year round. From all of us at Mosquito Joe, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season. May your days be merry and bright!