With bellies still full from enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers, many individuals are already looking ahead to the next big holiday.  The holidays are a special time of year to spend with our friends and family, but they also provide us with a great opportunity to team up with our office family and give back to the local community.

Here are 7 ways you can team up to give back this holiday season:

  1. Holiday Gift Tree: Contact a local humanitarian organization (Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, etc.) for a list of local families struggling to afford gifts for the holidays and invite everyone in your office to sponsor an individual or family. Most organizations will provide the gender, age, and a few gift ideas for each family member to help you know what to buy.
  2. Holiday Drive: Host a food drive and donate the items to your local food pantry. Plan a coat drive and encourage your team to bring in coats or other winter accessories they no longer use. Add some friendly competition by picking a theme and turning it into a contest between departments. These are great ways to donate items to someone in need.
  3. Bake-off: Ask office members to bake holiday treats and deliver them to members of the community.  Consider visiting after school programs, nursing homes, assisted living communities, etc.
  4. “Festive Sweater” Contest: Ask members of your team to pay to wear a holiday-themed sweater to work for a day.  It’s a great way to spread the holiday energy in the office and you can donate the proceeds to a local charity.
  5. Volunteer Gift-Wrapping: Organize for members of your office to volunteer their time at a local mall or shopping center to spread the holiday cheer by wrapping gifts for busy shoppers.
  6. Volunteer at a soup kitchen: Partner with a local shelter or soup kitchen to organize scheduled times when your team can help serve meals to people in the community. Make it a fun lunch date or afternoon break that everyone in your department can participate in together.
  7. Caroling: Provide your members an opportunity to share some of their other talents by coordinating a time to sing your favorite holiday songs at different places throughout town.

Share with us some of the creative ways your office plans to give back to the community this holiday season.