Giving back to the communities you serve as a REALTOR® is important throughout the year, and even more so during the holidays. Clients and potential clients take note of your charitable and service activities and like to contribute and get involved if they can. Hosting a special holiday activity will help spread good cheer and positive feelings in the community. Here are the Top 10 ways to give back this holiday season:
Adopt a Family — Work with a local school or nonprofit to identify area families in need. Choose one or more and donate all the trappings of a great holiday, including decorations, gifts, and all the ingredients to cook a special meal.
Put Up a Giving Tree — Partner with a local nonprofit or social services agency to find out what they need, then set up a tree in the office and decorate it with ornaments that list those items. Ask anyone who comes in to choose an ornament and donate the amount of money needed to purchase that item.
Host a Food Drive — Demand at local food banks rises during the holiday season and many rely on the increased giving to make up for shortfalls other times of the year. You can help by hosting a month-long non-perishable food drive focused on collecting high-protein foods such as nut butters, canned tuna & chicken, and canned beans.
Decorate Senior Citizens’ Homes — Get the whole team together and spend a Saturday putting up holiday decorations at the homes of senior citizens who wouldn’t otherwise get to enjoy the sights of the holidays.
Have a Toy & Gift Drive — Foster kids often get placed in homes with little more than the clothes on their backs. Collect new, unwrapped toys, as well as gifts for teens such as cosmetic or toiletry kids, and donate them to a social service agency responsible for foster care placements.
Visit a Children’s Hospital — Spend an afternoon visiting with kids and their families at a local children’s hospital or Ronald McDonald House. Pass out small gifts such as seasonal story books and tabletop Christmas trees.
Collect Backpacks and School Supplies —Underserved students need supplies year ‘round to do their best in school. Plus, plenty of new students will be starting after the winter break, making this a perfect time to collect backpacks and supplies.
Collect Coats and Warm Clothing — Collect new or gently used coats, sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves in kids’ and adults’ sizes to donate to local schools or homeless shelters.
Host a Santa Open House — Have the jolliest agent in the office play Santa for an afternoon and invite kids from the neighborhood as well as clients’ families. Serve hot chocolate, cider and cookies and have someone in charge of taking digital or instant photos.
Give Out Care Packages for the Homeless — Ask agents and clients to donate travel size toiletries, boxes of protein bars, and cases of bottled water. Make up care packages in resealable bags and give every agent several to keep in their cars to hand out to any homeless people they see while they’re out and about in the community.