Spread the seasonal spirit this time of year by creating charitable programs that give residents the opportunity to give back.
The holiday season is a time for celebrating but also a time to spread the seasonal cheer to those less fortunate. Multifamily property managers have a unique opportunity to access a large volunteer pool in their residents to see success in charitable actions this time of year.
Creating a holiday charity program in your multifamily property can build a sense of community and give your residence an easy and fun way to give back.
Food organizations can struggle with providing healthy food items to hungry Americans; the amount of food needed to meet demand can also be challenging. Food drives are easily organized at a multifamily property where managers can set up a donation station in your management office for residents to easily drop off non-perishable items. Give your residents a time period to drop off food, then schedule a donation day where you bring the collected items to the food organization. Some organizations will even pick up collected items for you!
Contact a local food bank to set up a drop off time and find out what their food needs are. When selecting an organization to donate to, consider both the obvious (food bank and homeless shelter) and the less obvious (faith-based organizations, senior citizen centers, schools). If you want suggestions on food organizations in need, start by contacting your local food bank. You’ll find them listed online at www.feedingamerica.org
For more information about setting up your own food drive at your multifamily community, check out these tips.
Similar to a food needs, families in need require adequate protection from the cold weather this time of year. Cold weather clothes are especially in high demand for children of all ages who outgrown clothing each year.
A community clothing drive is a simple solution for residents to provide warm clothes to those unprepared for the winter chill. Apartment managers can create a donation station to collect clothing donations to provide to organizations like Coats for Kids, The Salvation Army and Share the Warmth. Depending on the organization you choose to support, you can collect new or gently used warm clothes to donate.
Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is one of the most successful and widely known organizations for providing toys, books and games to children who don’t have the opportunity to access them otherwise. Toys for Tots collects gift and monetary donations for children of all ages.
The organization makes it easy to become a drop off location for toy donations, that serves your tenants and the residents of your local community. Ask tenants to bring in a child appropriate unwrapped toy, game or book; remember that kids of all ages want presents to feel special this time of year, so don’t forget those teenage appropriate gifts too.
Adopt a Local Family
Entire families can struggle to provide any semblance of a holiday for their children this time of year. Several non-profit organization have created Family Adoption programs, where individuals, businesses, groups or organizations are paired with a family in need to provide them with gifts, clothes or food, to make their holiday special.
Your apartment community can sign up to be paired with a qualifying family and you can organize a community event to ask your residents to donate the requested items. The organization will provide you with a list of needed items for your adopted family like a sweater for each family member, an age appropriate toy for each child and a basic household appliance like a space heater or microwave.
Holiday family adoption programs are locally based so a google search for “Adopt a Family this Christmas” can reveal organizations in your area to work with.
Creating a charitable holiday program in your multifamily property can develop a sense of community and encourage resident retention for those who appreciate the values of your management business. You also have the opportunity to increase your property’s and business’s local exposure and positive brand association by contacting the regional paper to inform the community about your program and the opportunities to get involved. Consider writing a press release about the program and submitting it to the local paper and sharing it on social media.
It is important to remember that not everyone is as fortunate and the discrepancies can be striking during the holiday season. When managing a multifamily property you have the opportunity to work with a big community that can make a difference in someone’s life. People often think it takes a lot of money to make a difference, and maybe money your residents do not have. It is not always about money but rather doing something that may directly or indirectly have an effect on someone else’s life.