[Giving Back] Projects
(and how to do them)

Arrows to scroll through project. Click image to see full-size slideshow.

Enlist the help of the non-profits who will benefit. We chose 5 churches and our nonprofit. Have someone volunteer a large storage space (my garage was used for this project). All parties solicit goods for a sale, to be held at a community center. One person from every group convenes to sort, decide price and make signs for tables for goods ($3 for a pair of shoes, $.50 for baby clothing, etc.) No individual item pricing except furniture. Decide in advance who will be given whatever does not sell.  A rep from each organization comes to help move the goods to the sale center. Have the sale with volunteer help from each organization and split the proceeds. 

Five people did this: Make it just for the neighborhood, or do it for an entire city. We asked for holiday decorations to be donated, which we later gave away (at a library) free on a set day and time so that everyone would have the ability to decorate. Families loved it! Put up $100 in prize money and solicit gifts or make certificates for second place, etc. We had 10 awards, including most patriotic, most sacred, etc. All decorations were to be up Dec 15-26. Have 3 outside judges drive by each house that enters (during thoser dates) and then average their ratings to see who wins.

Ask participating churches to ask their shut-ins if they would like Christmas carolers on a predetermined evening. Once approval is given, their name/address goes on the list. Integrate church choirs so that there are 3-5 groups with assigned areas, comprised of a blend of singers. Caroling books can be ordered online very cheaply! Sing away and meet new people!

Ask for a donation of a small shed. Put it on wheels (trailor underside so it can be moved). Then approach the city to an approved location for a Santa House or get permission from a neighbor for an empty lot. Ask for donations of paint, etc. Enlist high school volunteers as well as friends, etc. Solicit community donations of Christmas decorations and have volunteers make some. Raise money (or get donations) for electric fireplace, Santa's chair and Christmas tree. Schedule work days. Enlist a volunteer Santa (Kevin was ours). Open for smiles!

Make it for the neighborhood! Our nonprofit worked with the fire department. We made a float, wrote press releases and went on the radio, got a police car entrance in ours and it went from 30 floats to over 100 the next year! Pepsi provided a food truck with soda & hot chocolate -- free!

Kevin finds opportunities to put on a Santa Suit! He's been Santa Paws for the humane society, dog parks, and as a holiday offering for a city.