Last week we released the tips and tricks for ideas 3 and 4 (of 10) on our Holiday Giving and Volunteer Guide. To be the first to know about the rest of the list, please take a moment to sign up for our newsletter – the next installments hit inboxes Tuesday and Thursday afternoon! Now without further ado, here is your Week 2 recap!
Ready to host? Add the info to your invite! Just fill in the blanks with your charity of choice, ask people to bring some items to support, and baby you got yourself a stew goin’. Oh wait – that’s Arrested Development, my bad. In your case – you got yourself a nice little charitable holiday soiree.Our friend and collaborator Ashley Papp has written a great guide on how to setup your first Party with a Purpose, but here are some extra ideas for inspiration, and a few local events you can jump in on to join in the fun:
- Wrap it Up: Call up a local family-oriented charity and offer to wrap gifts that people have donated for children. Then, gather a group together for some gift-wrapping fun! Tell them you’ll provide the supplies and holiday tunes if they bring their favorite treats. For an extra holiday bonus, ask guests to wear their most cheerful holiday-themed sweater.
- Not So Secret Santas: On your party invitation, ask friends to bring gently used items or clothing that can be donated to others. Place a few big boxes at your door for guests to drop items in as they arrive. After the event, compile the donations and deliver them to a local charity. Don’t have the capacity to handle winter clothing donations? Consider having guests donate feminine care products – organizations like the P.A.D Project (heads up Rochestarians – they are local!) accept donations to make care kits for organizations that support women in need.
- BAKE ALL THE THINGS!: This idea involves both eating and giving (sing with me…these are a few of our fav-or-ite things)! Ask guests to bake and bring their favorite holiday cookie or dessert—but to make two of everything. One will be for guests to enjoy; the other will go to a local nursing home or homeless shelter. (Check first to be sure they accept home-baked items.) After the party, grab a friend to help you deliver the goodies. Don’t have time to host a Bake Sale Party? Check out a local one and make a purchase for your gathering! Residents of the Highlands at Pittsford are hosting their bake sale on November 21st to benefit the Ronald McDonald House!
- Get Crafty: Write holiday cards to veterans or military troops overseas, make centerpieces for nursing home dining rooms: the items you can create for others this time of year are countless. Just find a craft (try Pinterest!) and then gather friends around your dining room table to get creative. Add snacks or a meal for added incentive. We’ll cover this particular event in more detail later this month, but mark your calendar for Cards for a Cause – cards created at the event will go to a variety of local organizations!
I received my first Black Friday ad this year on November 3. That’s a good three weeks prior to actual Black Friday. THREE WEEKS of being inundated with The! Best! Price! (while quantities last!) of blenders and TVs and the year’s hottest toys like that creepy little Fingerling Monkey Pet. It can be overwhelming this time of year to try and parse through ads and commercials and deals and coupons; to truly remember what is important feels all but impossible.
That’s where Giving Tuesday comes in. Traditionally the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday (started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation) is an international day of giving, focusing on non-profits and community support. Rochester is lucky to have it’s own offshoot of Giving Tuesday in ROC The Day — the United Way’s annual day of giving, taking place Tuesday, November 28th.
Just how big is ROC the Day? Well, last year, 7,950 charitable AF Rochesterians came together to donate more than $747,794 to not-for-profits in the designated 24 hour period. Do you feel like this right now? We do…that is hot stuff, ROC!
This year, over 500 area non-profits will be participating in ROC the Day, and the website makes it easy for donors to give to as many organizations as they’d like in one fell swoop. It’s the best kind of online shopping (and you don’t even need a code for free shipping.) If you’re looking to maximize your dollars, you can search the website for organizations that have matching gift sponsors.
In addition to making donations, many organizations host activities throughout ROC the Day to encourage donors to interact and foster a sense of community.
- Causewave Community Partners will host its annual cROCk the Day luncheon at their office (274 N. Goodman, in Village Gate). Staff (and guest competitors from matching gift sponsor Butler/Till) will provide crockpot dishes, with community members judging the winner! Join in the fun from 12-2PM.
- Gilda’s Club Rochester’s Associate Board is hosting their annual ROCsgiving Happy Hour, from 5:30-8:30PM at City Grill (384 East Avenue). On a day when many nonprofits are vying for dollars, ROCsgiving aims to end the initiative on a spirit of collaboration. Joining GCR at this year’s happy hour: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western New York; Make-A-Wish Foundation; and American Cancer Society. Stop by, grab a drink, and chat up representatives from each organization to learn more!
- For more ROC the Day events, visit our calendar. It’s also the perfect place to keep up to date on volunteer opportunities and charitable events.
No matter where you give, or to whom, Giving Tuesday and ROC the Day are great ways to both support your community and help sustain essential organizations for the future. Happy Giving!