In mid-December of this year, Cygilant was fortunate enough to participate in a great cause. Our building management team invited every company to participate in a Holiday Gift Drive for Children, through the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Once a company elects to participate in the drive and provides the number of employees participating, the building management sends a list of children who, due to circumstances out of their control, do not have any family to provide them gifts during the Holiday season. Each employee is given the child’s age, gift requests in order of need/desire and clothing size. Once the gifts are wrapped and labeled, Cygilant delivered them to the building management team, who will share them with the Social Workers and children.
As an organization we are lucky to be tenets in a building that values giving back to the community. However, if your company or family or friends would be interested in participating in a Holiday Drive next year, here are some places to keep in mind. Pro tip – ask early, holiday drives usually start right after Thanksgiving!
- Ask your local church/temple/community center/etc. if they are participating in a holiday drive. Often, these establishments will have a list of children or families in need that you can ‘sponsor’ for the Holiday season.
- Visit your local grocery store. Most grocery stores allow customers to donate money or food to those in need. You can give cash, buy canned/boxed goods and leave them in a donation box in store right afterward, or sometimes they offer full meal kits for purchase.
- Visit your local police or fire department. Often police officers and fire fighters have toy or clothing donation boxes open during the month of December.
- Do an internet search for local charities. Cygilant was lucky enough to have the opportunity brought to us, but anyone can give simply by searching ‘holiday gift drive’, ‘toy drive’, ‘local charity organizations’, etc. and include your zip code. Also, try looking for a Department of Children and Families in your state to see what initiatives they may be running.
- Donate your time. Visit a local soup kitchen, food pantry, or retirement home and offer to donate your time.
Remember, 'tis the season of giving, but charities operate all year round and are usually in need of regular volunteers and donations outside of the Holiday Season.
But wait, there’s more! If winter is cold in your area and you’re still looking for an opportunity to give back this season, organize a coat drive! Most shelters accept coat donations at any time. Contact your local shelter for more information.