Creative ways furniture companies can give back to their community

Over this past year I’ve had the pleasure of working on the Community Spirit section of Casual Living Magazine, which covers philanthropy in the casual furnishings industry. I’ve written about Telescope’s home-build blitz with Habitat for Humanity, Ultrafabrics’ teaming up with Treedom to plant trees in Kenya and Bay Breeze Patio’s annual Egg Fest charity event, among other things.

It’s obvious why getting involved with a charity or working in your local community is important, but what some companies struggle with is what exactly to do.

As you look to the New Year, here are a few creative ideas to help you help others:

  • Have a monthly event at your store and put the money toward a different charity each time. Events are a great way to not only get people out to your store, but also to raise money for a charity (or charities) of your choice. Donating to multiple charities ensures that you’re giving back in a way that benefits different types of causes. But speaking of focusing on just one charity …

  • Pick one cause and go all in. That’s exactly what bedding accessories manufacturer Malouf did when they launched an initiative to focus their efforts and funds on battling human trafficking. I think this is an amazing way to give back because it’s not only helping a good cause, it shows commitment to a cause. And, as shown by Malouf, you can give a voice to harsh realities that many choose to ignore.

  • Get out there. In my opinion, one of the best ways to give back is to meet the people you’re helping. If you’re serving dinner at a homeless shelter, talk to the people you’re serving, learn about them and maybe you’ll understand their situation better and find more ways to help.

  • Use your skills to help the jobless. If you know how to write a resume, a cover letter or even simply search for jobs online, you can use these skills to help those who don’t know how. And there are tons of other skills that we take for granted that others simply don’t have the resources to learn how to do. Sites like Catchafire can hook you up with opportunities that fit your skills set.

When you go that extra mile, it not only helps those in need, it inspires others to do the same.

If you’ve worked on any charitable projects recently, I want to hear about them for our Community Spirit section! Email me at Amilstein@casualliving.com with your story.

The One Stop Shop blog is your number one source for furniture industry tips, advice and how-to's. From social media guidance to breaking down trends in the industry, One Stop Shop offers solutions and ideas that will help specialty retailers, manufacturers and designers succeed in business. Alex’s millennial tendencies and love for listicles runs deep, but not as deep as his passion for providing useful, helpful and informative solutions. Have something you want Alex to write about? Contact him on Twitter @CLalexM or by email at Amilstein@casualliving.com