Anyone who knows me knows that I am a firm believer in the importance of community. I will be on the radio tomorrow – 40+ and phenomenal which can be found on Facebook live on their page, The Beat 104.1 FM and Life 97.5 FM Barbados. We will be talking about giving. I love radio, and while doing a bit of reading and research for the show, I was inspired to write this post on how we can all be more community minded this Christmas season – through giving to and supporting those in our community. Here are 5 fun ideas for how to have a more community Christmas! I am including some links in case you want to check any of these out.
1. Attend a fundraising concert – whether you want to sing Carols by Candlelight or relax to the acapella stylings of G-syndicate, if you like Christmas music then find a concert to attend with friends and family. In addition to raising funds (which some of them are doing) it is great to support our local artistes who work hard and are extremely talented. Here are the details for the concert from G-Syndicate. https://www.facebook.com/derek.marshall.9615/videos/10159784131115464/
2. Buy local – especially from a local artisan or small business. This is one of my favourite ways of engaging the community all year round, but especially at Christmas. There are so many offerings for fantastic Christmas gifts – jewelry, art, household items, Christmas tree decorations to name but a few. Attend Brighton farmer’s market, Holder’s or Hastings market, or find them online or in person. You can even buy gift vouchers for services such as manicures/pedicures and massages, or an appointment with a hairdresser. Many of them do corporate gift baskets and packages if you are a company looking to arrange gifts for your clients. Another suggestion for companies is my next point. Here is a link to Brighton farmers market Facebook page – can I suggest that you get some jewelry from Summer Gems, beautiful garments and accessories from Kalene designs, and many other gift ideas, as well as local foods. https://www.facebook.com/brightonfarmersmarket/?fref=ts
3. Support local businesses – not only can you buy Christmas gifts, you can also make a commitment for your company to support a local business for services such as accounts, marketing, web design etc. I came across this little gem the other day and I have to share it – Christina Hunte and Kreativ Edge – offering business enhancement services for entrepreneurs and artists. You can read a bit more about her in the article below, or click onto her page! https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-christina-hunte-built-a-creative-marketing-agency_us_5a263bdae4b087120d865ef1
4. Volunteer – there are so many opportunities to volunteer year round, and now is a great time to dip your toe in to see how fun and rewarding it is to give back to your community. Of course I will plug Optimist Club of Barbados Bridgetown, where you can assist by buying a gift for a child, or joining us on our hamper drive. But there are so many other ways to volunteer this Christmas, with churches and other service organizations to name but a few. Who knows you might like it so much that you may continue it into the new year!! Here is the facebook page for Optimist Club of Barbados Bridgetown. https://www.facebook.com/OptimistBridgetown/?fref=ts
5. Donate – if you aren’t ready to volunteer but still want to help, there are many organizations that would love donations for various projects. The obvious ones come to mind – Salvation Army does island wide collections at this time of year, and you can donate clothes (new or clean and in good condition) to various organizations around the islands. I will mention Jabez house here, and if you tune in to the show tomorrow, you will hear more about that organization for sure. You can donate non-perishable items, toiletries and Christmas gifts to a variety of organizations, including HIV food bank. You can even do a simple monetary donation from your phone or tablet. The Substance Abuse Foundation is raising funds for solar panels to improve sustainability at their residential and treatment facility. Here is a link to their crowdfunding page. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sun-sustainability-healing-from-addiction-energy-solar?utm_campaign=contribution_receipt&utm_content=receipt-campaign_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=lifecycle#/
As you can see – there are a number of ways to engage with your community this season, no matter what time and resources are available to you. I hope that everyone reading this takes the opportunity to find out a bit more about one of the local groups or businesses I have highlighted, or shares this blog to their friends, family and work colleagues.
On an unrelated note – I will be doing away with the crutches soon, so will be looking for a new tag line for the new year. I will also be starting a mailing list in the new year, and making some changes to the blog so look out for those!!!
Big love from the dining table!
PS here is the link for the 40+ and phenomenal page. Remember to like the page, and catch me at 2pm tomorrow!
PPS to my UK friends - here is a link to a book written by my friend's brother. A great Christmas gift for children (or adults like me who love children's books).