With COVID-19 normalizing social distancing over the past 20 months, it has been harder to connect with local communities. Now that many Americans are vaccinated and most stores are open again, there is a sense of relief and joy in the air when going back to “normal” activities. This holiday season is sure to be much happier than last year’s when most Americans were in lockdown and unable to see friends or family. Most people missed things we took for granted such as holiday shopping or theater performances. To show appreciation for your local community, we recommend that your business “buy local” and support neighboring businesses that did not know if they would survive the pandemic.
There have also been supply chain shortages worldwide, which further reminds us of the importance of supporting your local community by putting money back into the local economy. Visit the neighborhood “mom and pop shops” where each dollar spent positively affects someone and helps sustain a business in your community. Handcrafted items are always a meaningful gift for coworkers or those that you love. Not only are you keeping someone’s small business alive, but you are also positively impacting the environment with one less cardboard box being mailed to your home.
Another extremely important way to give back is by donating blood. Blood Banks are in constant need of donations to meet all different blood types. Create an employee workday out of it and go together to donate. Not only will you feel great for helping but you can post photos to social media and show how your company builds morale. To go an extra step, donate to your local blood bank which gives back directly to your community rather than the American Red Cross that distributes nationwide.
A remarkably straightforward way to give back is through charitable donations. We recommend choosing a local charity that aligns with your company’s beliefs and values. Oster and Associates has done work with the San Diego Humane Society, so we love to choose animal welfare organizations based in San Diego. If you are located in San Diego County and are wondering about some great charities, we love Frosted Faces Foundation that helps care for and adopt senior animals whose lives are in jeopardy.
We realize that with COVID-19 variants still rampant, it can be jarring to jump back into the busy holiday season where crowds are expected. There are multiple ways that your company can still give back without meeting in-person. You can write letters to soldiers, veterans, and even people living in nursing homes. Some organizations to consider are Support Our Troops, Love For Our Elders, and A Million Thanks. No matter how you choose to give back this season, we hope you take time to reflect on the importance of your community and which local businesses mean most to you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!