The gift of giving comes in many shapes and sizes. Some of these gifts are in the form of a check. Others come in the shape of a helpful hand and are measured by their amount of thoughtfulness as opposed to weight.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us have started to reflect on the reasons why we are grateful for the lives we wake up to each morning. As we ponder over all that we are thankful for, we can also think of how we want to pay it forward in the form of our helping hands.
This holiday season, with the resources and support of BOMA/Chicago, you and your tenants have multiple ways of imparting your generosity on the Chicagoland community. A small gesture goes a long way, so help us spread cheer and smiles by giving the gifts we outline below.
Greater Chicago Food Depository’s 1 City, 1 Food Drive
Did you know that 1 in 6 people in Cook County, more than 860,000 men, women and children, are food insecure and are unsure of where they will receive their next meal? According to the 2010 US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 16.7% of Cook County residents live in poverty, surpassing the national poverty rate of 15.3%.
How can you help? Over 130 member buildings have registered for this year’s GCFD 1 City, 1 Food Drive. Due to our previous successes in collecting record-breaking amounts of food, the GCFD has given us the challenge to help raise 150,000 pounds of food in 2013 (6 barrels of food per building). You can help us reach this goal by encouraging all of your tenants to donate non-perishable food donations from November 18 until December 13. If you are looking for captivate screens, tenant letters and other marketing materials to increase awareness and donations toward the drive, then click here to download the toolkit created by the GCFD. Check out our Elevator Speech blog post to read about member buildings that held highly successful food drives in 2012.
Beat our previous record! Since 2008, we have provided more than 130,000 meals to hungry Chicagoans, making us one of GCFD’s key partners. In 2012, a total of 157 BOMA/Chicago Members participated in the GCFD holiday food drive and collected 66,164 pounds of food, almost doubling our 2011 donations. Help us double our donations yet again this year by rallying your tenants to donate non-perishable foods and/or cash donations through the online fund drive option.
Emerging Leaders Toys from the Top Event
Did you know that on Tuesday, December 3, the Emerging Leaders will be hosting its 5th Annual Toys from the Top event? This event brings CRE professionals together for a charitable cause – donating holiday gifts to Horizons for Youth, a Chicago area non-profit dedicated to helping families from low resource communities. The enormous success of this annual event triggered us to open the doors to all members, not just Emerging Leaders, and the number of gifts we donate grows more and more each year.
How can you help? Register to attend the upcoming Toys from the Top event, which will be held atop 190 South LaSalle in “The Library.” Tickets are $30 per person. We are asking each guest to bring an unwrapped toy for a boy or girl ages 5 to 13. If you need some gift ideas, visit this webpage and browse around for a toy that will light up a child’s world during this holiday season.
Beat our previous record! You helped us collect over 300 gifts last year, all of which were donated to the children of our community. This year, let’s see if we can top our own record. If you cannot attend the event, we encourage you to give your toys to a colleague who will be in attendance.
Hosting a Blood Drive in Your Building
Did you know that more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day in the US and that about every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood? An estimated 38% of the US population is eligible to donate, but less than 10% actually do each year.
How can you help? Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors like you. Reach out to LifeSource or the Red Cross, both of who will work directly with you to ensure your drive goes as smoothly as possible. All you have to do is inform and engage your tenants. Many of our member buildings have hosted successful drives in 2013, such as 120 South LaSalle Street. In June of this year, with the help of the Red Cross and numerous tenants, this Lincoln Property building sponsored a blood drive that resulted in donating enough blood to save 111 lives. Check out Celeste Villanueva’s blog post to read tips on how to hold a successful drive in your building.
Beat our previous record! On September 19, BOMA/Chicago was recognized by LifeSource for being the 5th largest donor of the top 20 Chicagoland donors. BOMA/Chicago impacted 4,584 lives with its blood donations and we would like to thank those who helped us receive this recognition from LifeSource. We continue to impact lives through blood donations each year and we look forward to the results we see in 2014!
Do you want to help a family cook the perfect holiday meal? Do you want to help create the childhood joy of opening up that unknown gift? Do you want to help save a life by giving your blood to this community? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, spread the spirit of giving today and leave a comment below on how you and your tenants paid it forward.