Q: We always feel so overwhelmed with people’s generosity at holiday time. Do you have any suggestions to help us feel more prepared?
Stewart in New Jersey
A: Maybe it’s time to take out the old Wish List and give it a tune-up. After all, these are your holidays too! What do you really want for your organization? What are you wishing for?
Ask each department, staff subgroup, or staff member to list their top five needs. Have them be as specific as possible, from soup to nuts: band aids, diapers, computers or office equipment, gas for the van, a new music instructor or counselor, playground equipment, or even a new gym.
Then compile them all into a single Wish List. You might consider listing them by area or department: “The nursery is wishing for X, the maintenance staff is wishing for Y.” It will let people know that you really need these items.
Print them up on pretty holiday paper. Make enough copies so that you can distribute them generously throughout the season. Have them at your front door. Insert them in your newsletter. Have a little basket of them at your holiday parties and other events. In other words, let people know what you want and need so that they can fulfill your wish.
Get started now. This is the helping season.