(Not so random) acts of kindness

As the holiday season is upon us, now is a perfect time to reflect on the spirit of the season — to show thanks and offer kindness toward others. 

Last week I was at a client event in the U.S. Northeast in which the sales team, with input from some customers, decided to donate money that would’ve be used to purchase a logo gift item for the guests to an organization in Manhattan called the Yorkville Common Pantry. The amount was enough to feed 33 families (over 120 people) Thanksgiving dinner who otherwise may have gone hungry on this particular holiday. In addition, the hoteliers present also brought and donated blankets to provide warmth and comfort to those many New York area residents still without power and heat due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. This wasn’t done to be included in a press release, but rather because it was the right thing to do. (Thank you, Angela and team, for the amazing idea!)

 Also in New York City, a photo of a police officer, Lawrence DePrimo, has gone viral on Facebook as he was “caught” giving a pair of brand new boots (which he purchased with his own money) to a barefoot homeless gentleman. It was not his intention to receive this attention, as he believed his gesture was done in private.

Last week’s client event concluded in Boston after a very long motorcoach journey in sleet and snow. The bus driver maintained a speed of 45 mph (72 kmh) and delayed the journey by more than an hour due to her cautiousness. When we arrived, I saw one person offer the driver the remaining, unopened case of diet soda, which they noticed her drinking earlier on the trip — a simple act of kindness when no one was looking.

What are you doing this holiday season to give to those less fortunate? Is your company doing things to help others because it provides content for a press release, or because it is the right thing to do?