The holiday season is a wonderful time to give back — but it’s also important to remember to look for ways to show your support even after the holidays are over. Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways to make a difference in our Chicagoland community and keep the spirit of giving alive, all year long.
Here are some important ways to supporting your favorite local businesses and charities as we enter 2021:
Showing Your Support to Chicagoland’s Local Businesses
Local businesses make up the backbone of Chicagoland, and many people around our area helped show their support by ordering gifts and seasonal specials from their favorites on Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Here are a few easy, meaningful ways to continue supporting your favorite local businesses in the new year:
Order pickup and takeout.
This year, many local restaurants got creative by offering Thanksgiving and Christmas catering for pick-up during the holidays. You can continue to enjoy the flavors of your favorite local restaurants by ordering contactless delivery and pickup all winter long. You can find a list of participating locations around Chicagoland via Dining at a Distance, or search for your favorite cuisine on the Chicago Tribune’s interactive map of Chicago-area restaurants.
Shop local, online.
Want to buy yourself a personal gift now that the holiday season has come to a close? Many local boutiques, shops, and small businesses have set up digital shopping options to make remote browsing a breeze. Order supplies to redecorate or renovate your home; refresh your office or fill up your home gym with new equipment; or refresh your wardrobe with a little help from a local boutique.
Buy gift cards, memberships, subscriptions, and experiences.
Many theaters, museums, restaurants, and art institutions have membership programs that you can sign up for or renew in 2021. If you’re looking for fun gifts for someone with a winter birthday, consider purchasing them a gift certificate for their favorite local business, to use now or later in the year. You might also want to look into fun virtual experiences that can help you tackle some of those New Year’s resolutions — from online cooking classes that can help you master the kitchen, to virtual fitness sessions perfect for working up a sweat.
Leave reviews and be social.
If you had a positive experience with a local business, spread the word online! Many businesses get their next clients or customers through word of mouth — and right now, more people than ever are sharing recommendations and ideas online. Leave a review on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or another online service, and consider posting about your great experiences on social media to help people in your sphere learn more about all the opportunities that are out there. Don’t forget to tag the business, when you can.
Giving Back, However You Can
Every little bit helps. Whether you join a local organization doing good things for our Chicagoland community or contribute money or supplies, there are lots of ways to give back after the holidays:
Look for volunteer opportunities.
If you donated time or effort to a charity or service organization during the holidays, see about turning that labor of love into a year-round commitment! Lots of nonprofits and charitable organizations will continue to need volunteers after the winter rush, and there are many ways to give back right now — including plenty of volunteer opportunities you can complete virtually from the comfort and safety of home.
Stay connected with your neighbors.
Don’t forget to take care of the people closest to you. Everyday acts of kindness in your community can make an enormous difference. Call up your neighbors and see if there are any essential supplies that they need now that the holidays are over. Consider making up and leaving care packages around your neighborhood. Send New Year’s cards or “thank you” notes to friends and family.
Donate supplies and home goods.
Did you do any decluttering or organizing over the holiday season? Finally finished that renovation project that you’ve been working on since the fall? There are plenty of organizations around Chicagoland that collect used home goods, from furniture, to art supplies and construction materials, and everything in between. Many local organizations are also in vital need of basics like hand sanitizer and hygiene products, which they can distribute around the region.
Contribute what you can.
Donating any amount of money to your favorite service organization, charity, or response fund can make an enormous difference, especially right now. If you donated once, consider setting up a recurring donation so that you can show your support and make more of an impact throughout the year.
Chicagoland, We’re By Your Side — No Matter What
The holiday season is all about enjoying the comforts of home with the people you love. Now is the time to remember what’s truly important — health, family, home, and the bonds that tie us all together.
Chicagoland is our home, and helping our community thrive is part of our DNA. Our agents, loan officers, and staff have always taken great pride in supporting the communities where we live and work, and that have supported us over all these years. Now, more than ever, we’re committed to being there for our clients and our neighbors in need.
At Baird & Warner, we know from 165 years of experience that we can get through anything when we work together. Everyone here takes pride in being part of something bigger — part of a community that works together to make Chicagoland a better home for everyone.