Giving as a Team - for the holiday season
Traveling through the dark season inspires people to give to and take care of others. Sharing and helping customs are part of Christmas, harvest festivals, Solstice, Chanukah and other religious or secular holidays. The season when many are inspired to be generous coincides with when many feel more vulnerable or alone due to holidays or winter weather.
People who join together in philanthropy get the extra glow of feeling that their giving efforts are also enhancing their group's communication, skills, enjoyment, and identity. There are endless varieties of ways to team-give, including creating items, raising money, collecting goods, or doing service for those who are in need.
Consider the list of "philanthropic" activities we have started compiling on Teampedia. Teams do clean-up on playgrounds or community centers, ladle out meals at soup kitchens, construct ramps, teach computer skills . . . Specialized companies offer the know-how and materials to help your group to create wheelchairs, bikes, welcome wagons, and other things for donation.
Some activities have become common, such as Adopt a Family: facilitated by a charitable agency, a work team gets general information about the ages, sizes, and wishes of adults and children in a family, and the team member buy appropriate gifts or donate funds for a representative to do the shopping. A variety of such giving involves a display on which paper tags give the age and a few hints about a person's needs or wishes; each team member takes on or more tags and replaces it at the display with an appropriate gift, (This is often done with "Christmas trees," but because not all givers nor receivers are Christian, we encourage alternative, universal symbols and decoration.)The team can enjoy getting together to do the wrapping of the gifts. Usually, the identity of the family is not revealed and the contact and delivery are managed by the agency.
"'Tis better to give . . ." is said often during this season, yet Teampedia encourages people to create opportunities for giving together in any and all seasons. In the autumn, have a wandering party of leaf-raking to people who need such help;then return in the summer to mow the lawns. Help plant a community garden in the spring. Teach computer skills in January . . . Give your team the gift of keeping on giving.