Christmas is almost upon us and whether you celebrate it or not, it is widely considered a season of giving. However here at the OSCO, we also believe that it is the season for giving back which we try and do each year.
The festive season is a busy and exciting time of the year. People are looking forward to a break from work, spending time with family and friends and celebrating the year that has passed with colleagues. The majority of workplaces, ours included, will have a team building lunch and many will exchange gifts.
Last year, a new end of year tradition was born in the OSCO. When discussing whether we would have a Secret Santa/Kris Kringle gift exchange the office was evenly split between those who wanted to participate and those that didn’t; after all, we are a diverse group representative of many different cultures and faiths. However, when two of my team put forward an alternative proposal of doing something for charity instead – everyone was on board!
The idea was simple. Instead of buying a £5 gift for a colleague, each member of our team would contribute £5 worth of goods, or whatever they can afford, to a collection for charity. This year, like last, we have been collecting for a London mission that supports those that are homeless and marginalised. Goods are collected over a two month period and members of our team personally deliver the collection in December.
I am proud to say that it is something that has really taken hold. Not only are contributions made enthusiastically, but this year they include wrapped gifts of socks and a small chocolate bar for the mission to distribute at Christmas and even scarves knitted by OSCO staff to help those who don’t have shelter keep warm on what is shaping up to be a bitterly cold winter. These personal touches and the time taken by those team members who have the talent to make such lovely items with their own two hands is deeply touching and makes me even more proud of my team.
For us, it is a simple gesture that not only brings our team together but reminds us of the importance of giving back to the community. But what is a simple gesture to us has a meaningful and lasting impact on those who will receive the goods that we collect – whether it is food provided by the mission, the small gift on Christmas Day or the scarves that will help to keep them warm – and we are happy that we can play even a small part in the important work that this charity and others like them carry out every day of the year.