Several years ago my company made the decision to take the budget we had been spending on holiday cards, postage and small client gifts and instead donating that to charity. We felt that this was one more way that we could demonstrate our commitment to the community, with the help of our clients.
The overwhelming response from almost everyone that we talked with has been extremely positive.
“Who needs another card anyway, it’s nice to know others are benefiting.”
“What a great idea. I wish our company did that!”
“It just makes a ton of sense.”
These were the kind of responses that I and my team received from our clients at the time, and every year since, when we announce how much we are donating to charity. I think that most people recognise this as a great way to support those in need.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
There are plenty of people who need a little help, particularly at this time of year. People fall on hard times through no fault of their own, whether it is unemployment, illness or just some bad luck they find themselves without resources and inevitably it is the children who suffer most.
Donations and volunteer efforts make a big difference to these people. Whether it is gifts for the children, a hot meal or some clothes to help them through a Canadian Winter it all adds up to helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Muhammad Ali
I’m certainly not trying to put the card companies out of business. We have cards that we send all year round to thank people for their business, to congratulate people on their achievements or just to keep in touch. I just don’t believe businesses need to drown their clients in cards once a year.
I’m not advocating that company swag should not exist either, over the years we have given more than our fair share of mugs and pens etc. to the market. Swag all year round = cool, extra swag this time of year = non needed!
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'" Martin Luther King Jr.
What I am advocating is that at this time of year, when the frenzy of buying is all around us, take a few minutes to think of those who don’t have the means or ability to indulge themselves and their loved ones. Find a way to divert some money to make life a little better for those who need a hand. If you can couple that with some time donated to help out then you can make a HUGE difference.
Give rather than take. It will make you a better person, and your community a better place to live!
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Albert Pike