We all like to think that we are giving people, but most of us never give to charity nor do we do charitable things. This doesn’t make us bad people, it just means that we are tied up in ourselves, in our own lives. And when you add a business on top of this you rarely get time for yourself let alone to give back to others. But sometimes we all need a little help, and this can often be at uncertain and unexpected times.
Three years ago, my 3-year-old daughter was rushed to hospital on Christmas Eve with a burst appendix. After having a lifesaving operation, she woke up on Christmas Day and by her bedside was a bag of toys, neatly wrapped and suitable for her age. These were donated by organisations and local businesses.
This is just one example of giving back to others in need at Christmas. There are lots of ways that you, your staff and your small business can give to charity this year. Local charities, homeless shelters, churches, schools, hospitals & businesses are all looking for extra support at Christmas. Simply google a charity and do something good.
If you sell on Ebay for example, you can opt to give a portion of your sales to charity when the buyer makes a purchase. You can automatically set this up through your account making this a hassle-free way to donate.
Charity isn’t all about giving money as a donation. You can opt to do your Christmas Shopping at a local store rather then at one of the bigger retailers. We often see businesses coming and going throughout the year and if want your high street to thrive with businesses you need to support them.
Friday 15th December is Christmas Jumper Day and the perfect way to raise money for charity. Ask your team to come into the office wearing their favourite jumpers. Get everyone to put a £1 in the pot and give this to charity. Take some pictures and use across your social media.
Rather than spend money on giving out Christmas cards to colleagues in the office. Send everyone a Christmas email and then give the money you would have spent on the cards to charity.
Perhaps suggest to staff that when they are doing their Christmas shopping to purchase an extra present and take this to a local place that is collecting for Christmas kids appeal. What better way to give back by making a child smile.
If money is tight then ask staff to bring in any old toys, clothes or blankets that they have in the house and give it to charity. This is a great way to not only de-clutter the house before the New Year but to get into the giving spirit. Homeless shelters are in desperate need of clothes and blankets to help keep a homeless person warm this winter.
If you work in a shared office get together with other businesses and go out to your local shopping centre and sing some carols. Take some buckets to collect for a charity. And afterwards go for a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie and socialise with those you may not ordinarily talk to in the workplace. You never know who you might meet or where this might lead in 2018.
Volunteering your time, even if you have only a little can make all the difference. Go to your local soup kitchen and help feed the homeless. Go to your local church and offer to post out their Christmas schedule through your neighbour’s letter boxes. Or simply help an older person on your street decorate their Christmas tree. Your time costs nothing.
Get your team running this Christmas. Enter your business into a Santa fun run. This is a great way to raise money, get fit, and to do something fun as a team.
Christmas is the perfect time to give back and what better to do this by giving to charity. You may not feel very charitable if you have had a rough business year but whether you do this by shopping local, helping a neighbour or getting an extra gift for a child you’ll be pleased that you did. Make this a positive end to the year and give something back to others, help to make someone else’s and a yours a better Christmas. We all reap what we sow, so give back and good things are sure to come your way in 2018.
Next Week: Get your business accounts ready for January