Oftentimes people think that being sustainable means being environmentally responsible, which is true, but it’s not the whole story. Sustainability includes contributing to society and the local community. During the holiday season I think it’s OK to focus on helping people who are less fortunate than us. We can resume our environmental duties in January.
There are many ways we can lend a helping hand to people in need, and it sure will make you feel a lot better than jockeying for a parking spot at the shopping mall. Figuring out how to help others can seem overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. It’s really easy and doesn’t have to take too much time during the busy holiday season.
This past Thanksgiving our office held a food drive and donated over three barrels of food. We’re still collecting, and plan to contribute more this month. At my house we picked up a couple extra holiday essentials at the grocery store and donated a bag at work and one to our local school’s food drive.
This year our team will be bagging food at the Redwood Empire Food Bank to be gifted for holiday meals; it is our third year doing it. From a company standpoint, Kendall-Jackson financially supports many charitable organizations, but it’s the physical act of bagging up food to be delivered to a needy family’s table that really warms your heart. Each year Kendall-Jackson also sponsors Secret Santa trees where our employees are able to give gifts directly to struggling families and individuals in our community.
If you want to get more involved this season, simply do an internet search for volunteer center and you’ll find local organizations like the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County that can connect you to opportunities. VolunteerMatch is a great national organization with a website and app that connects volunteers to organizations in need of help. My search turned up 135 nearby volunteer opportunities. The service also enables you to find virtual volunteer gigs where your work can be completed at home or on the Internet.
Sometimes people take time to warm up to getting directly involved in charitable work. In that case, financially contributing to non-profit organizations gives them the chance to direct funds where they are most needed. When you write a check every little bit helps, but at my house we try to write a check that’s big enough to make a difference in someone’s life.
The environmental challenges of the World can seem daunting at times. It can be difficult to see the positive effect of the small things we do every day, especially since environmental changes take longer. But when you give your time, effort or money to help others during the Holidays they feel the positive effect this month, right now.
From a personal standpoint, not much makes me feel better during the Holidays than helping out people who really need and appreciate help. Happy Holidays to you and your families!