There is just something about holiday cheer that makes you want to share it. Regardless of your budget, there are plenty of ways that people and families can give back to their communities and those it serves. Here are five impactful, yet inexpensive ways to share the happiness over the holidays!
Visit an elderly neighbor – This could be an excellent option for those with smaller children. Start a holiday tradition early by taking your children to visit nursing homes and hospices. Explain to your children that these grandma and grandpas aren’t able to see their grandkids and allow them to make holiday cards to pass out.
Homemade bags – Homelessness is a concern for many all year round, but there is no denying the increased interest around the holidays. While volunteering at a soup kitchen is a great way to give back, there are other ways to help. During the colder months, the most requested item from the homeless is socks, although homeless women are often in need of feminine products. Other things to consider include gloves, scarfs, no-sew blankets, water, and food. Any used shoes or clothing that is no longer wanted could also be put in the trunk so those in need can look for what may fit them.
Toilet Paper – When donating to soup kitchens and homeless shelters, it is natural to assume that food is the best bet; however, that is what everyone is thinking. Instead, think of non-edibles that may be needed, such as toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, feminine hygiene, etc.
Share the fuzzy wealth – It is no secret that fur babies can lift almost anyone’s spirit; so this holiday season, share your puppy with those who could use a holiday smile, such as at a nursing home or shelter. Always call and ask first– you never know where allergies may lie! For those who want to give back, but don’t have a pet, reach out to local pet shelters to help take the animals on walks, help with feeding them and even giving them individual love and attention. Animals have feelings too.
Start at home – We often assume that to give back, it has to be for strangers, but that is far from the truth. Our families and friends often have needs that go unnoticed, so this holiday season, look for ways you can help with stress, groceries, childcare or whatever it may be. Seeing how happy it makes your family and friends will make it a yearly tradition!
The first step of finding a legitimate charity is research. This is especially important for new donors or donors looking to give to a new organization. If searching online, use caution and take time to read the website address. Fraudulent organizations and scammers will seek URLs that are very similar to a reputable charities. Most organizations have a .org ending rather than a .com.
Once you have narrowed down the charities you are interested in supporting, refocus your research to be more specific. Start by searching for each charity’s name along with a word like complaint, review, rating, or scam. Some organizations work to report on how charitable organizations spend donations and how they conduct their business. This could be useful when there are multiple charities for your cause, and you want to determine which one invests the most into research. Use this link for more.
Nothing indicates a scam like a representative getting angry when you ask questions. Any reputable organization will be more than happy to provide a viable donor with as much information as possible; the last thing they would want to do is make you angry. Whereas, fraudulent organizations may try to bully or push consumers into donating or providing personal information during that same call.
This also applies to those being solicited in person. Ask the representative questions on anything you don’t understand. Even if they answer each question well, they should provide pamphlets or other paper materials for possible donors to look at and decide on. Anyone pressuring you into providing cash or credit card information before they leave is not from a reputable company.
Keep these tips in mind:
- Scammers may try to trick people into paying by claiming they have already donated.
- When asking questions, pay attention to their answers. If they can’t specify with clarity how the money will be used, they are scammers.
- Fraudulent organizations have ways to change their phone numbers on IDs to make it look like it’s from a local area.
The National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) provides a directory of different state charity regulars. Most states require charitable organizations or fundraisers to register before soliciting donations. If you believe you have come across a fraudulent organization, report them to NASCO and FTC.gov/compaint with the name, phone number, and what was said to you.
Getting involved in your community can provide a whole host of benefits, while also providing you with a way to give back. While you may want to engage with your community, you may be unsure about how to get started. These suggestions can offer insight into some of the most effective ways to get your business and yourself involved in the community in which you operate.
Host Meetings for Community Organizations
As nonprofit organizations and committees, many community groups lack resources, including a place to conduct their meetings. If you have the space, you might offer to provide a meeting place for a community group to conduct their business. This will help you show your willingness to contribute to a worthy cause.
Offer a Scholarship to an Area Private School
Whether you offer a scholarship to a private grade school or for an area university, this can help you put your business name out there. Your business will become more familiar to your community and you’ll be helping younger generations learn about your industry or type of business. Helping to provide more educational choice will earn your business a more positive reputation in your community.
Contribute to a Local Charity
There are many ways that you can support charities in your community and donating money is just one way. You can host food or clothing drives on your business property, contribute prizes to competitions that seek to raise money for specific causes, or you can sponsor dinners and other events. Donations and other contributions can help establish your business as a philanthropic organization, while positively impacting the lives of those in your community.
Join the Chamber of Commerce
Consumers look for organization affiliations and certifications, when they visit a new business. By becoming a member of your community’s Chamber of Commerce, you can add credibility to your business and engender trust among local consumers. This will also give you opportunities to participate in more community events.
While there are many more ways you can get your business involved in your community, these suggestions can get you started. As you become more involved, you’ll begin to see more ways that you can use your business to help your community. In time, you’ll become regarded as an important community leader, which will help to grow your business and your philanthropic spirit.
Synter Resource Group Cares About Our Community
Synter Resource Group was founded to serve the Transportation Industry with a never-ending quest to build better processes. For over a decade, we have brought that same mindset to our community stewardship. Synter is proud to serve in key initiatives for some of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time, and we never stop working toward a better future.
We are always looking for opportunities to improve and preserve all of the great things about our community in historic Charleston, South Carolina.
At Synter Resource Group, we believe that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a difference. Our passionate staff has participated in all sorts of outreach projects. Some extend off-site to local schools, churches, or community buildings, while others take place right in our own office! No matter what, we aim to bring volunteer work to the forefront of our business and of our wonderful city, so that we can inspire others to get involved as well.
The concept of community has been woven into the fabric of Synter Resource Group since day one. We know that collaboration is crucial — and this sentiment rings just as true when it comes to building our own company culture. We have worked hard to create an inclusive, supportive, and downright exciting place for our staff to work and thrive. We also regularly organize events like employee cookouts, picnics, and outings.
Synter Resource Group is headquartered in a 28,000 square foot facility in Charleston, South Carolina. We are the largest business process outsourcing (BPO) company serving the transportation and logistics industry in North America. Synter was named as one of INC 5000’s Fastest Growing Small Businesses in 2012. We were also recognized in INC 5000’s Fastest Growing Small Businesses in 2016 (list pending) and in the South Carolina Top Workplaces 2017 program.
Organizations Synter has Partnered With:
- United Way
- The Greater Charleston First Tee Organization
- Adopt a Family Christmas campaign
- Angel’s Touch
- St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital