Holiday Merchandising Tip #31: Give something away

Someone very wise once told me, ‘the more you need something, the more you should give it away.’  Love, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, hope, financial resources; what human being doesn’t wish for more of those things?

What will you give away this holiday season?  What is your cause as an organization?  How are you improving your community or the world at large?  These questions beg to be asked at Christmas, but are something I would encourage all business owners to incorporate into their marketing and merchandising strategy for two reasons: 

  • Thinking beyond one’s own needs has a magical way of providing more of what you need.
  • Customers are human beings.  You might not pull them into your store because of your altruism, but you will show your human side.  Stores are not just brick and mortar, but are made up of human beings.  Your customers want to like you!

Perhaps you already have a cause that is near and dear to your heart, but if not, I’d like to share with you three causes that are near and dear to my heart:

Bridge over troubled waters:  Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ mission is to enable high-risk, runaway and homeless youth to achieve a healthy and productive adulthood through prevention, intervention, and education services. Serving 2,433 youth ages 14 – 24 each year, Bridge offers a comprehensive range of health, educational, career and housing services. Bridge is the only agency in the Boston area to provide a continuum of age-appropriate services.

Yoga Reaches out:  Yoga Reaches Out’s mission is to bring the yoga community together to create seva (selfless service). Through the gift of yoga, Yoga Reaches Out focuses on raising funds for organizations that impact the health, education, and well-being of children.  YRO’s first ever Yogathon held this past September raised over $200,000, still counting!

I Will Foundation:  Supports those who are trying to recover from a life-altering illness or traumatic injury.  About 10 weeks after he ran his personal best in, Matt Long was run over by a bus on Third Avenue while riding his bicycle to work. Long’s survival and subsequent struggles to regain his athletic life are detailed in a book, “The Long Run,” released in mid-October.

Check them out, and consider adding them to your list.  Perhaps your financial resources are thin, but you have time, or product, or a skill.  Adopt an organization like one of the above, and you will make a difference.  Get your customers involved.

Give something away in the spirit of not just the holidays, but in the spirit of life.


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