Last week, the HBI team held its holiday party. There was food, laughter, all of the normal things associated with the holiday season. However, there was one aspect that was not typical. Before the party, members of our team paired up and bought gifts for underprivileged children. Action Ministries provided the names and wish lists, and the pairs drew one of each. Not only was this a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays, it was also an excellent team-building exercise.
As our culture becomes more socially aware, giving back to the community has become a priority, with social media enabling us to see and do more than ever before. GoFundMe pages for victims of tragedies have become popular, and these fundraisers often receive far more than the goal amount.
Combining this need to give back with team-building events can be highly beneficial. Impact4Good, an agency that coordinates team-building exercises that give to the community, lists some of the benefits of projects such as:
Increasing team interaction
Building a productive and energized culture
Breaking down barriers
Improving team performance
Respecting and understanding ethical values, people and communities
Giving back and the emotional connection as a reward
And of course, having fun!
As silly as it may sound, shopping together made us throw ideas back and forth and made us work together to find what the child would like most.
The exercise also allowed us to view life from another perspective. The wish lists were all simple and asked for necessities such as diapers, toiletries, hair accessories or socks. It is easy to forget during the holiday season that not everyone can afford the basics, much less an Apple Watch or a Playstation or whatever hot new toy is out. It was also comforting to know how excited the children will be when they open their gifts.