This year has been pretty much everything but normal. As the holidays approach and companies seek out COVID-safe ways to give back this season, it might feel like there aren’t many options. However, with a little out-of-the-box thinking, you can still have some strong holiday corporate social responsibility (CSR) fun. Here are a few options for that season of giving feel:
- Adopt-a-family – Lots of organizations provide the opportunity to adopt a family for the holiday season. Especially this year when so many have lost their jobs, there will be plenty of need for families to receive some special holiday cheer in the form of a meal and gifts. If your company has budgeted for a big holiday party that can’t take place because of social distancing, perhaps those funds could be used to adopt one or more families through a local organization!
- Virtual food drive – Another wonderful way to give back is to host a virtual food drive. Instead of employees picking up items at the store and bringing them to the office, your office can host an online food drive where employees “donate” (give money to buy) different ingredients for a holiday meal.
- Virtual silent auction – If your company usually has a big party with a silent auction, you could still host that and move it all online. Set a time for everyone to dress up and join a virtual event and set up your fundraiser with online auction software. Now employees can bid on your auction items right from home. This allows people to still donate to your organization’s chosen charity in a fun manner, and a volunteer team could do a contactless drop off of the winners’ items at their doors.
- Donate blood – This one isn’t for everyone but is something that will make a huge impact. For those that are willing to venture out to a donation center with a mask, you could have a blood drive where employees simply go on their own instead of in a big group. Just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t mean the need for blood donations has stopped. Other medical emergencies are still happening, and blood is needed now more than ever.
- Donate masks – It’s hard to believe this far into the pandemic there are still places in need of masks. Retirement communities, homeless shelters, women’s shelters and other facilities still need a steady supply of masks. If you’ve got employees that sew and are willing to donate some time, the rest of the team could donate supplies such as fabric, thread and elastic.
- Delivery for COVID teams – Every year medical teams work through the holidays so that we can all have the medical attention we need if necessary. This year is no different, except that experts predict a particularly harsh winter for COVID infections. As medical teams work through the holidays, consider using your holiday party money to send a nice meal to the medical staff at your local hospital. Give them a call to inquire about the best time to have food delivered. While you’re at it, make sure to select a local restaurant and don’t forget to tip generously!
Give back safely
Just because the holidays will be different this year doesn’t mean all CSR opportunities to give back have to be put on hold. As big as adopting a family, or as small as a virtual food drive, think of innovative ways to get your company in the giving spirit. The most important thing is to keep employee safety paramount this holiday season.