“Tis the season to be…” oh you could finish that part of the song in so many ways. At Holmes, “jolly” would definitely be fitting, but we could also say “busy” or “grateful” or even “freezing!” This time of the year is such an exciting one as we get to work on so many fun internal projects, help clients plan marketing initiatives for the coming year, and despite the frigid temperatures, enjoy the warm, kind words from all the participants in our Holmes Gives Back program. This is our third year celebrating the season and our community in this way, and we wanted to share the history and reason behind it.
Every fall, the owners at Holmes would try to come up with a token of appreciation that would accurately express the company’s gratitude for the clients. For more than 30 years, the gifts ranged from calendars, notepads, and gift certificates to chocolates, candy, and books. One year Holmes even created handmade gift baskets from locally purchased items and distributed those to customers. Despite the thought and time put forth, the efforts just didn’t feel unique or special, and with the changing economy and shrinking budgets, the gifts kept decreasing in value at times when we were really so grateful for our clients.
We all started to ponder what else we could do, and if we could take it one step further with a greater impact on the community. What if we gave to those who really needed a helping hand? What type of change could happen if companies saw what we were doing and followed suit? So in October of 2011, we decided to take the funds allocated for client gifts and allow those clients to vote for which local and national charities these funds should be distributed to. That was the beginning of Holmes Gives Back! We set up a voting landing page that gave voters a background on each of the organizations, so at a minimum we were bringing awareness to each of the charities. We also include the voting information on the company Holiday card we send out, increasing the exposure.
Our first year, the votes for local charities were so close that we gave to all three, Care It’s for Kids, Clark County Child Advocacy, and Second Harvest Food Bank. The National Cancer Society was our winning national organization. In 2012 we had 260 votes, over 100 more than 2011, and The Rocking Horse Center (local) and Wounded Warrior Project (national) were the winners. This year we sent an introductory email with a video and information along with our holiday card, and have turned to social media to really boost the participation. We have been so excited to watch this project grow over the years with such a positive result. As of today (I just checked) we have 315 votes and the cut off is still 2 weeks away! If you are interested in helping us give back this year, please vote at HolmesGivesBack.com. It’s such a fulfilling way to say Happy Holidays!