At My Annapolis Office, we work with local charities who have a direct impact on our community. This year, we have chosen to work with The United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots, an organization that believes that every child deserves a happy Christmas.
Since 1947, Toys for Tots has been distributing new toys to children who would otherwise go without. Families apply to the organization and are then able to have age-appropriate toys delivered to them in time for Christmas. We just love that we can be a part of making children happy at this special time of year and can take some of the stress off of their families.
Our location is a Toys for Tots drop-off site and we encourage our members and neighbors to come by and drop off a new toy in our donation box. We also provide financial support to the organization directly, which goes directly to the Anne Arundel County Marine Toys for Tots chapter.
If you have not yet chosen a cause to support for your end of the year giving, here are some tips that might help:
1. Choose a cause that has meaning for you
Get together with your employees and talk about the causes that are dear to their hearts. Children’s charities, animal charities (such as local no-kill shelters), local shelters, missions, nursing homes, veterans, and churches are all great causes to consider.
2. Do your due diligence: watch out for scammers
At holiday time, there are lots of opportunists out there, ready to prey on your good graces. There are several online databases of registered charities that can give you more information as to whether the charity is bona fide as well as how they spend their money. Stay away from causes that spend more than one-third of their charitable funds on administration or other operational fees. You want to make sure your money is getting to the people who need it most.
Some of these databases include:
They can also help you locate more causes to choose from if you are having trouble finding something locally.
3. Give your time or donate services
New businesses don’t always have extra cash lying around at the end of the year, so you may think that charitable giving is off the table. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth as, sometimes, your time is just as valuable. Think of ways you could donate time to a local cause, such as manning the line at a soup kitchen or collecting and handing out winter coats and blankets to a church or local homeless shelter. You could even think about donating services in-kind that will make getting through the holidays a little easier for a charitable organization.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about what you can do to give back at the end of the year. Supporting your local community through goodwill and charitable giving will always pay dividends, as you can always feel good about making someone’s life a little easier.
Drop by My Annapolis Office today with your Toys for Tots donation and let us know what you’re doing to make the season a little brighter.