One way to increase employee morale while helping others in the process is to sponsor a family for Christmas as a company. Several activities can be introduced to the employees as ways to help a family in need out while making themselves feel better and bringing everyone together for the holidays. My company has sponsored a family for Christmas for several years and it has always been a success, especially during a hectic time of the year. Generally, a company would want to begin this process towards mid- to end-October to ensure a family has been found and to allow enough time for a team to get coordinated on all the activities involved. You may also want to sponsor that family for Thanksgiving. The process is similar to the one below, but instead of gifts employees would donate food needed for the family after developing recipes for Thanksgiving meals and the corresponding shopping list. Below are some activities for sponsoring a family for Christmas.
1st Find a Family. Usually, your HR department can contact the local organization that services needy families. Be sure to explain to them the type of family you are looking to help. Some examples include:
- A family that is truly in need
- A single or two-parent household
- A family where one or both parents are out of work
- A family receiving state aid
2nd Obtain a list of items the family is in need of from the organization. These typically include information such as:
- Name of Parent / Child
- Age of Child
- Items in need of and sizes (i.e. pants size 4, t-shirt size 8, etc.)
- Additional items the family is in need of (i.e. small appliances, blankets, etc.)
3rd Make a game plan for employees to participate and the overall process. Here are a few ideas:
- Give employees three (or more) ways to donate (i.e. allow them to purchase gifts, give monetary donations, and donate gently used items).
- Setup a Christmas tree in your office and print small ornaments for employees to take and purchase that gift for the family. The ornaments should include the family members name, age (if it is a child), favorite color(s) (if you can retrieve that information), and the item from the wish list. Be careful to ensure each child in the family has roughly the same number of gifts (this is a pretty big deal for kids, especially in larger families).
- Designate someone as the person to give the gifts or donations to.
- Set a date of when all donations are due by.
- Designate someone to purchase additional gifts with the monetary donations once all donations have been turned in.
- Have a safe place to store the gifts.
- Hold a Wrapping Party and allow all employees to participate in wrapping the gifts for the family.
- Designate one or two individuals to deliver all the gifts to the family.
- Send an email to employees explaining what you are trying to accomplish, information about the family, the due date, how they can donate, etc.
- Send reminder emails periodically to remind employees to turn in all donated items by a certain date / time.
- Purchase a Christmas card for the family and let everyone in the office sign the card.
- When sending the Christmas card around for everyone to sign include an empty envelope with it asking for monetary donations if employees would like to donate but are unable to go purchase gifts. This way no one has to be embarrassed about only donating a couple bucks if that is all they can afford.
4th Execute. Make sure everyone is following through with their designated duties.
Do you have any other ideas?