While the holiday season is a special time for many of us - filled with friends, family, and loved ones, for others, it’s just another reminder of what’s missing from their lives.
With all the joyful celebrations around the holidays, it’s worth remembering that the holidays can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and sadness for those suffering from anxiety and depression or those struggling with a recent loss. The emotional and financial stress of meeting holiday obligations can be too much to bear for someone who is already struggling. People are expected to be so happy and thankful this time of year, but that can be a huge challenge for some of us. A little gentleness and compassion can go a long way.
At Simply Food Trucks, we’re passionate about working with Atlanta’s local organizations whose mission is to care for our community. Food With Purpose, our non-profit division, has partnered with many different non-profits over the years. Giving back, especially during the holiday season, is our way to show our appreciation and honor the spirit of giving.
When we sat down as a team and thought about ways to give back this holiday season, our team was full of ideas and we're sharing those with you today. We also found that when you do it as a team, it can improve employee engagement, generate company pride, and illustrate your company values. Whether by providing time for employees to volunteer at charities that are near and dear to their hearts, or by donating to causes that speak to them, employees appreciate having their passions recognized by employers.
Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season
Set up some time for the office to go as a group or give time off for employees to volunteer for charities that are near and dear to their hearts. Homeless shelters, children’s hospitals, nursing homes, and food banks are often in need of assistance at this time of year.
Take Up a Collection
Organize a toy drive, sponsor a family, set up a food drive, or collect new and gently used coats and warm clothing.
Donate To a Worthy Cause
There are a million worthy charities out there. Consider what’s most important to you (and/or your company), and make a small donation. Is it a foodbank, Toys for Tots, or another cause? Not sure? Consider Time Magazine’s charity donation tips.
Other Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season
Make holiday cards for seniors and the troops, spread kindness and words of good cheer, cook a big meal and deliver it to a family in need, bake homemade pet treats and take them to a local animal shelter, or deliver homemade baked goods to your local fire station or police station.
Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season - The Simply Food Trucks Community Way
The Simply Food Trucks team is giving back this year to charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Some of the charities our employees are passionate about include:
Solidarity Sandy Springs – Dedicated to helping reduce the impact of food insecurity on individuals and families by providing access to fresh, nutritional food choices while creating opportunities for all community members to serve and build meaningful relationships.
Giving Kitchen – Providing emergency assistance to food service workers through financial support and a network of community resources.
Atlanta Community Food Bank – Working with more than 700 community-based partners – including food pantries, community kitchens, childcare centers, shelters, and senior centers – to distribute approximately 8 million+ meals to food insecure neighbors across metro Atlanta and north Georgia.
Alzheimer’s Association – Leading the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support.
American Heart Association – The nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and strokes with more than 35 million volunteers and supporters across the country.
Our food truck partner, Daniel Ray, owner of Cheez’d and Confused, serving award-winning gourmet grilled cheese, gives back to the CORE Community School year-round. Monthly lunches served to over 75 faculty and students include, not only grilled cheese, but a rotating menu of smoked chicken quesadillas with homemade chips and salsa, pasta with fresh Italian bread and Caesar salad, chicken tenders with homemade mac and cheese, and other specialties. The CORE Community School helps kids with special needs, learning disabilities and those who don’t fit into mainstream schools.
“It’s the most amazing school ever. I have two daughters who were struggling badly in school, and now they’re thriving; they love school. We couldn’t think of a better way to give back to them then to feed them. This school has changed the people my kids are going to become. They’ve changed our life.” -Daniel Ray
Dominic Napolitano, the owner of Dominic’s Woodfired, and his wife Miranda set up non-profit organization Dominic’s Mission to bring more food options to their small growing town of Ball Ground, GA, but also to “give back” to the community that supports their business and to “pay it forward.” Since the pandemic, Dominic has fed over 20,000 kids for free and has contributed to other small businesses in the town as well as families in need.
This holiday season, considering giving back and supporting your community. No matter how small your actions may seem, they can make a huge difference to someone else. Giving back to those in in need is more than just spreading good cheer; it’s about ensuring that everyone can experience the joy of the holidays.
Happy Holidays from the Simply Food Trucks family to yours.