Making Spirits Bright through Holiday Giving
Importance of Holiday Giving Grows
To say 2020 has been a weird year is an understatement. For most of us, we have spent the majority of the year working from home without the company of colleagues, formal workspaces and corporate and social gatherings, from tradeshows to client meetings to holiday dinners. Because of all this change and uncertainty, we are taking extra time this year to count our blessings.
One of the ways that Mulberry is helping is through our holiday giving campaign. We’ve taken steps to make the holiday season a little brighter for those in need. Read on to learn how our collective efforts are making a difference during this challenging year.
Collecting the Coolest Toys
Our team in Chicago was eager to put a smile on children’s faces in 2020. Many families struggle to be able to afford toys in addition to necessities like food and clothing. This year, it is even more difficult for those who have been impacted by the pandemic to purchase toys for their loved ones. That’s where Toys for Tots comes in. Founded in 1947, the program is run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve to distribute toys to children during the holidays.
In 2019, Toys for Tots made a big impact in our local community by gifting nearly 49,000 toys to children in Chicago. The Mulberry team picked out beloved favorites, from Lego to Barbie to Curious George, and dropped the items at local collection points. Our efforts alone will mean that 16 children have a new toy to enjoy.
Want to support Toys for Tots? While donation dates often close in early or mid-December, you can purchase a toy or send a donation virtually here.
Supporting the Fight Against Food Insecurity
Some of our team members also supported organizations dedicated to keeping families and individuals fed. According to the United Way United for ALICE project, before the pandemic, 39% of households in Cook County could not afford all of their basic necessities like housing, healthy food, child care, health care and transportation.
This year, many more people are facing food insecurity. Food banks have seen record turnout during the pandemic, so support from the community is more important than ever. An analysis by Feeding America reveals that Chicago and Cook County rank third in the United States for the number of people — an estimated 798,130, including 256,800 children — who live in food-insecure households.
These are just a few of the organizations that accept food donations:
- Love Fridge Chicago, a mutual aid group that places community refrigerators across the city of Chicago to combat food scarcity and food waste.
- The Greater Chicago Food Depository, a hub for a network of more than 700 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other programs.
- Lakeview Pantry, a food pantry that has operated for 50 years, and serves 15 different neighborhoods throughout the north and west sides of the city.
Additional Efforts Bring Joy
Our team members also discovered other creative ways to give back, including through clothing donations and Adopt A Family programs that support women’s shelters. These programs typically enable a family member to provide a list of items they’re hoping to receive. Due to the pandemic, many organizations are accepting gift card donations instead for stores where gifts, clothing and other items can be purchased.
Small Gestures = Big Impact
When we come together toward a collective goal, we can make a bigger impact than our individual efforts. This holiday season, we’re thankful for many things, including additional time at home with our families, new clients and team members and the opportunity to give back to those in need. The pandemic has put financial and emotional stress on many families this year and the impact will likely last into 2021. We hope that through our holiday giving, we can be a bright spot in a year that has often felt quite dark. We wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!
Jess Messenger is an Account Director at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She enjoys developing PR campaign strategies and writing for B2B audiences across numerous verticals such as retail, foodservice and healthcare.