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Chris LoCurto

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December 15, 2011

Business Gift Giving – The Greatest Gift

December 15, 2011 | By | 22 Comments">22 Comments

Giving is the funnest thing you can do. I’m sorry, I understand you may not agree that it’s giving. It’s OK. You can be wrong, but it is the truth. You can go out and do the craziest, most-entertaining thing. But if you then provide a way for someone to experience it—someone who couldn’t do it on their own—you will find it is an even greater blessing.

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That’s just how giving works. It’s a heart thing. It’s like working out. The more you give, the better you feel. That’s how we felt when we shut down our office one Friday afternoon and took all 300-plus team members to GraceWorks to help them get ready for the Christmas season. What’s GraceWorks? Well, their site explains it best:

We supply the basics of life to help move families past a point of crisis. We also offer prayer and spiritual support, and do our best to help any resident of Williamson County, regardless of their personal faith. Help will not be denied on the basis of faith.

GraceWorks began in 1995 to help several local churches screen requests for assistance and determine the validity of the need for food, monetary help or clothing. In 2010, GraceWorks fulfilled more than 6,000 requests for assistance with food, rent, utilities and other aid, totaling more than $700,000, thanks to the help and support of our partners, volunteers and churches.

So basically, we spent the afternoon loading and unloading big trucks, transporting furniture, unpacking cases of food … and I mean like a truckload of cases that was donated by grocery stores … marking through all of the UPC symbols, repacking them and putting them back on the truck to be delivered.

Some team members helped set up the “store” that people will visit during the holidays. Those in need will be able to purchase donated toys and other goods without paying more than $2 per item. (Why do they pay anything? Because it gives them dignity.) Other team members took donated money and went shopping for the rest of the needs.

I can proudly say they had never seen a group like ours! At the end of five hours, we had done the work that would have taken them months to complete. In fact, they were stunned by how we blew through there with such passion and motivation—so much that there were a lot of tears from their team and ours.

When we left, our whole team commented on how it was a must for us to do again. Hopefully, we’ll do it more than once a year. Why would a company shut down their business, and pay out the payroll on 300-plus people to go help a ministry? Because giving is the funnest thing you can do. On top of that, guess who returned to work on Monday even more motivated? Our team!

So next time you’re eyeball deep in what’s going on in your business, stop and take a few hours to give of your time to help some people who are struggling to put food on their tables. You just might return with a different perspective.

Question: What are some things you would like to do as a business to give to your community?

 

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  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    This sounds like an incredible adventure all of you had!

    This year we made the decision as a team to purchase “Santa Clause” for the children of four military families – 12 children in all. The team was estactic and spent over two hours picking out toys, books. clothes, and then wrapping them all when they returned to the office. As each of the parents came by to pick up the gifts, it was a blessing to know we had helped the children of these heroes.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      That is so cool!!! I love that. It’s amazing how those receiving AND those giving feel so blessed.

  • http://www.ginasmom.com ginasmom

    Just beautiful, what a great example to the community around you and what an impact to the participants.! My company does a few this, but you’ve just given me the inspiration to do this as a family.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Yay!!! You’ll love it!!

  • Cass

    The best part of inspiring others to do good is watching the infectious joy that spreads. I started by asking my highest leader “boss”for a bus to borrow for a breast cancer awareness event- I envisioned using magnets to create a contest to raise money and awareness…My shops surpassed my hopes- covered the bus in 237 pink ribbons, filled it with 175 pink balloons and ran self conceived raffles in house to increase the spirit of involvement. We gave away gift cards and were able to raise money for a worthy cause. The joy that was raised both in company and in the community is one we all were proud of and as the first red bus rolled up the hill this Christmas season it was all I could do to not ask for a Santa bus to distribute toys………..
    The best way to change your own outlook is to be of service to others.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      That was great Cass! Thanks for sharing

  • http://www.medicalaccountsolutions.com Misty Gilbert

    Awesome Chris! What a blessing you all are to many…if only more companies would do what you do!!!!!!

  • Shannon Heizenrader

    Chris,
    I have been following your blog for over two months. Your messages really resonate with me. This post was very moving. My department does some volunteer work, but always on the weekend on your own time. I feel great after doing the work, but I think team building opportunities are being missed. My goal in 2012 is to find a place where servant leadership is lived out.

    Blessings to you this holiday season.
    Shannon

  • Dave Guido

    Hey Chris,

    For the second year in a row, we at Practice-Pro will close for half a day and go to our local Salvation Army Center to distribute toys to needy families in our area. The funny thing about is our clients have been asking for the last couple of days when we were going to close down to go do this outreach.

    Dave and Mariann Guido

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    You know the really cool thing was that you business gave of their manpower and not just their money. A lot of businesses would think “Hey, for the payroll we’re paying on 300+ people, we could hire 400 temps and accomplish even more good.” But they’d be missing the intangible benefits that the givers receive. Now, your team grew closer to each other, they have a new perspective, and (like you said) they’re even more motivated when they return to work.

    I publish a souvenir magazine at a local sporting event. One of the things I’ve done is to get a mint copy of each edition, have it signed by the athletes, and then have the set auctioned off for charity. It doesn’t get much money, but it’s a cool thing for everyone to be involved with.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      And the great thing is the giving is exponential. It’s not just you getting to feel good, it’s everyone you involve. Great stuff Loren.

  • Anonymous

    Just last week, I took one of my employees with me to the food shelf to help unload the truck. They were very grateful for the extra hands (and back) helping out. Starting in January, I’m starting FPU in our community. I really do enjoy helping others! Like you said Chris, its FUN!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Did the team member like it?

      • Anonymous

        I believe he did. He jumped right in. I’m going to try to bring more team members with next month.

        • http://twitter.com/joelfortner03 Joel Fortner

          Very cool you’re doing FPU! My wife and I just finished facilitating it for the first time. We’re doing another class beginning next month. It was one of the highlights of my week.

  • http://about.me/jonedlin Jon Edlin

    Just yesterday HR announced that they would be giving each employee two paid days off to do a service project in 2012! I can’t wait to see what kind of impact this might have in our community!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Nice! Sounds like a great guest post. ☺

      • http://about.me/jonedlin Jon Edlin

        Sounds good! I’ll plan on it.

  • http://twitter.com/joelfortner03 Joel Fortner

    Wow. What an inspiration you all are!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Thank you sir!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    What are some things you would like to do as a business to give to your community?

    Not on a business level, but on a personal level– I share my experience.

    Personally, I would encourage my team members to do the below activities (especially during the end of the year):

    1. One can come up with 3 people that they are thankful for this year. They might have helped them personally, socially or professionally this year. They can give them a personal gift this season, with a handwritten note explaining why they are grateful to them this year, and how much they’ve contributed to their life/career.

    2. One may find an opportunity to brighten someone’s holiday season. They can invite a “stray” over for Christmas day. They can buy a few gift cards/vouchers for a grocery store and give them to people they see every day that could really use it: (especially to entry level workers, janitorial/food/security staff.)

    3. One should absorb the good cheer of others. The next time they see people celebrating their year, stop to imagine themselves in their shoes and learn to find joy in other’s happiness.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Great ideas Uma! I especially like 2.