Though the season of giving is upon us, it’s all too easy to overlook giving back to our communities when we’re busy buying gifts, making travel plans, and cooking for houses full of people. Here are some of our favorite organizations and ideas for giving throughout the year.
Auction for Charity
A perennial favorite here at CGI Interactive, our Auction for Charity takes place in the first few weeks of the New Year. Everyone brings in something to be auctioned off, be it a tangible item (Red Sox tickets, anyone?) or maybe even some of their own time (like homemade ice cream or a DIY craft). We host the auction here at the office, and all money raised goes to a different charity each year. In the past, we’ve donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, Why Me & Sherry’s House, the ALS Association, the FSHD Society, and many more.
Out of the Darkness Worcester Walk
Each September, hundreds of people band together in Worcester’s Institute Park to help raise money for suicide prevention. The Out of the Darkness Walk gathers friends and family members who have lost someone to suicide, as well as those simply showing their support of the cause. This year, almost $150,000 in donations were raised.
Turkey Trot for the Memory
For the seventh Thanksgiving in a row, a few of us brave the cold to participate in Turkey Trot for the Memory, an event raising funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association. The event is a 5-mile run (or a 2-mile run/walk) that sends a message of hope to the patients and loved ones of those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Another Thanksgiving tradition is our food drive to support local families in need. We donate all of our non-perishable items to the Worcester County Food Bank the week before the big day, hoping to fill the tables (and bellies!) of a few families in need.
Giving Tree and Boys & Girls Club Wrapping Party
Each December, we set up a Giving Tree in the front lobby of our office in Westborough. It’s decorated with lights, ornaments, and the names of kids in need provided by the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester. Everyone volunteers to buy Christmas gifts for one (or more) kids. We choose tags with names, ages, and two gift ideas for things they may have requested.
After we donate our gifts, all who are able take a night to visit the Boys & Girls Club to participate in their wrapping party! We team up with volunteers of the organization and help wrap other gifts that have been donated. It’s a great way to meet new people and help make a child’s Christmas that much better!
There are so many ways to get involved right in your community — and year-round! If you don’t see any charities here that resonate with you, check out our Season of Giving Holiday Card from a few years back. There’s always an organization that could use some help.
Have a wonderful holiday season from all of us at CGI Interactive!