Giving as a Team - for the holiday season
Winter holidays and cold weather inspire many people to think about giving and volunteering during this time of year. Sharing and helping are often part of traditions for 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, winter weather, or shorter days and more darkness.
Teams who join together in get all the benefits of team building with an extra glow of feeling that their giving efforts are also enhancing their group's communication, skills, enjoyment, and identity. There are endless ways to give as a team, including building and creating items which will then be donated, raising money as a team, collecting new or used goods, and doing community service for those who are in need.
Consider the list of we have started compiling here on Teampedia as a good starting place. Teams do clean-up on playgrounds or at community centers, serve meals at soup kitchens, construct ramps, teach computer skills... Many team building companies listed in our directory offer the know-how and materials to help your group with onsite team building activities in which your team can build bikes, wheelchairs, or welcome wagons which are then donated to people in need.
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 of your neighbors. Help plant a community garden in the spring. Teach computer skills in January... Give your team the gift of giving.