Holiday 2017: Giving Gifts While Giving Back
As an agent or broker, you’ve been a big part of creating a very memorable experience for your clients. Some are first-time homebuyers, while you helped others sell their home to move on to the next phase in their life. The holiday season gives you another opportunity to create something memorable for your clients.
2017 has been an incredible year for disasters. The United States has seen fires, floods, major hurricanes and other devastating events that have affected the lives of many. In light of this, families and companies are taking a different approach this year by choosing gifts that give back. Rather than purchasing large gifts for themselves, they are instead buying items that benefit worthy charities. This could be a great way for you to honor your clients this holiday season. Here are a few of our faves:
Wine, Spirits and Beer
Wine and spirits are a great gift to give during the holiday season. You can never have too many wine bottles on hand, at the ready when unexpected guests drop by for a little holiday cheer. Craft beer is another unique idea to give at the holidays for clients who are also brew enthusiasts. Consider making a small gift basket with a sampler of beers from various breweries.
And now, your suds can help your buds! Giving a California craft beer can help residents of Sonoma County. The Russian River Brewing Company is brewing a beer called Sonoma Pride, and nearly 100 other area breweries have joined in the cause. All proceeds go to help Californians still recovering from the devastating Sonoma County wildfires.
What better gift to give your new homebuyer client than a lovely item of home décor for their brand new home? There is so much to choose from—candle holders, fruit bowls, throw pillows, kitchen décor—and the list goes on! Consider purchasing something lovely this year at Home Goods, Marshalls or T.J. Maxx and your gift will help Puerto Rico hurricane victims. Months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still reeling from the aftermath. Many people are still living in deplorable living conditions, without electricity or safe drinking water.
There are many charities out there trying to help Puerto Rico, but this group of stores particularly caught our eye. The Massachusetts-based TJX is parent company to all three stores. These stores are generously continuing to pay displaced workers in Puerto Rico because they feel that it is the right thing to do. If you’ve never been in a Home Goods store during Christmas, you have to check it out! The store has spectacularly beautiful decorations. Make a trip there today; you’ll be glad you did. There’s so much great merchandise, you might have trouble deciding, so a gift card works well, too! And don’t forget to let your clients know about the great work TJX is doing.
Candles and Christmas go hand in hand, so what better way to show your clients you care? Candles come in almost every holiday scent imaginable these days—pine, cranberry, cinnamon, Christmas cookie—there’s even one that smells like chestnuts roasting on an open fire.=
We know of two candle companies dedicated to giving back. One is the Brooklyn Candle Studio, a company donating a portion of candle sales to the ACLU. The company’s founder is a graduate of University of Virginia who wants to give back to help support the fight for racial equality after witnessing the terrible incidents earlier this year in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Starling Project is another candle company with a cause. They pose the question, “Can a Candle Change A Life?” Every purchase of a soy candle directs resources to help countries like Puerto Rico with access to solar energy and clean water.
Food and Groceries
What client wouldn’t appreciate a gift card to use toward groceries, or a nice gourmet food item? Grocery stores go all out for the holidays, making homemade cookies, jams and other goodies especially for the season.
Whether you decide on gourmet or groceries, getting your items from grocers like the Texas company HEB can help families affected by the horrific Sutherland Springs church shooting. HEB is revered in Texas for their charitable giving across the state; the grocer will donate 100% to the victims, so think about a donation in your clients’ names. HEB made an additional $150,000 corporate donation.
Yes, coffee is a food and a grocery staple, but the beverage’s delicious warm goodness deserves a gift category all its own. Whole bean and ground coffees are a wonderful gift this and really any time of year. Even if your clients don’t drink coffee, they’ll likely have holiday guests who do, so it’s nice to have on hand. We actually know people who don’t drink coffee, but keep it in their homes just for the great smell! Companies like Fire Department Coffee give a portion of proceeds to men and women firefighters who put their lives on the line every day.
Toys for Tots is a long-time charity where you can purchase a new toy and drop it off at a donation site. The toys go directly to children in your local community and best of all, they’re delivered by the Marine Corps. Think about buying a toy in each of your clients’ names—they’ll love it!
Similarly, Operation Christmas Child is another fantastic charity. For this one, the organization asks that you pack a standard shoe box with age-appropriate items for children—toys, candy, school supplies and other items. They also encourage you to write a personal note. To help make a huge impact, have a holiday packing party at your office with light refreshments and treats, and invite your clients to join you and your colleagues. Donate all the items and put one box together for each client as a way of saying thank you.
Donate Goods for Animals
Pets and animals are so important to homeowners—these furry creatures are members of the family. You might consider making a donation of goods or services to a favorite pet charity. One example is the International Wolf Center in Minnesota, a charity dedicated to helping endangered wolves. The center needs donations of goods like batteries, gloves and other supplies. Make a donation in your client’s name, and use a catchy phrase like WolfNet for Wolves, explaining the organization and the donation you’ve made in their honor. They’ll be impressed!
Get in the Holiday Spirit
More than ever, people really want to make a difference at the holidays this year. 2017 has certainly given Americans some challenges. A charitable donation on behalf of your clients is something they’ll remember, and together, you’ll impact communities and families in need.