Giving Back to our Community

The holidays here at Poly-Wood have been filled with fun, food and the company of great co-workers.

Ugly-Sweater-Christmas-Contest
Our ‘Ugly Sweater Contest’ group

We celebrated another white elephant gift exchange, ugly sweater contest, and a delicious holiday carry-in. But, for me, the greatest part of the holidays is giving back.

Like last year, we chose to help people right here in our own community. And, we’re very fortunate to have such a great staff at Syracuse Elementary School (which is just down the street from Poly-Wood Headquarters) who lead the way.

First, we piggy backed with my husband’s 5th grade class and the rest of the elementary in collecting non-perishables for the Syracuse Food Pantry.

Food-Drive-Sign-SyracuseElementary600

In the final week of collecting, students were bribed encouraged with an incentive of 1 chocolate chip cookie for every 3 items they brought. Their overall goal was to raise 2,500 items. If they reached their goal in the end, my husband’s class could pie him in the face!

In the end, 2,520 items were collected!

24 students = 24 pies

SyracuseElementaryFoodDrive
Committed teacher here, taking the pies like a champ.

Poly-Wood actually created a fun contest for employees too…for every 5 items we donated, we were entered to win a Mahogany Classic Adirondack (congrats Jim Byler!).

Canned-Goods-FoodDrive

Along with the food drive, we were able to help participate in the elementary’s Giving Tree. This is very similar to Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, but focuses on families right here in Syracuse, IN.

Giving-Tree-Background

We were given a list of items needed by local kids and their families and were able to shop for them before their Christmas break. With a little bit of time and pulling together our resources, we were able to give back to our community in a small way.

This is what makes Christmas so special to me and many others here at Poly-Wood.

GivingTree-SyracuseElementary600

Of course, there are so many worthwhile organizations out there that need our help–and not just during the holiday season.

If you’re looking to give back to your own community, here are a few ideas to get you started!

1. Volunteer at your local school, daycare, soup kitchen, animal shelter, nursing home or even help build a house with Habitat for Humanity. Check out VolunteerMatch.org for more ideas.

2. Donate your unused items to your local shelter (or, donate the proceeds from your next garage sale).

3. Exercise & donate! Join a walk or run for charity.

4. Are you a crafter? Check out this site to donate your sewing, knitting, etc. creations.

5. Start buying a few extra pantry items (from what you already buy) each time you go to the grocery. Then, donate those extras to your local food pantry. Find your local food bank

Whichever way you may choose to give back, remember even the littlest things can impact someone’s life. A smile at the grocery store, giving up the better parking spot, offering a helping hand without being asked, or just listening to someone who needs to talk.

From the Poly-Wood family to yours, Merry Christmas!

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