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Helping the Homeless During the Holidays

Common holiday traditions involve spending time with family and friends, exchanging gifts and feasting on lavish meals. Yet, this is not a realistic scene for a staggering portion of the American population. Overall, 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. These individuals don’t have homes to bundle up in during the cold weather; instead, they’re sleeping on the street, in their car, in a motel room or a community shelter. Many of them won't get to enjoy a festive homemade meal. While it’s true the holiday season is about spending time with family and friends, it's also about giving to others. Here are just a few ways you and your apartment company can help those experiencing homelessness during the holidays:Donate itemsGiving food, blankets, pillows, towels and clothes directly to those experiencing homeless or to the shelters that serve them is one effective way to alleviate the suffering of the homeless. Also, consider making and carrying around care bags with small essentials – socks, snacks, bottled water, soap, hats, gloves – so that you can give them to a homeless person you see asking for help. These bags are great to make with your kids or even with residents and co-workers to help build upon the notion of helping others. Show kindnessThis is a simple, yet effective way to lift the spirits of those experiencing homelessness. Do you walk by those experiencing homelessness without looking at them? Stop, look them in the eye and s......
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Bring Your Community Together with Sweet Treats

Bring Your Community Together with Sweet Treats

What’s better than a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies? Well, a plate filled to the brim with an assortment of homemade cookies, of course!

 

Hosting a cookie swap in your community is a fantastic way to bring your residents together to get to know one another and enjoy the holiday season. It’s easy to do: simply invite your residents to bring their best, favorite sweet treat – enough to share, of course! You can either request that they also bring an empty plate or container to hold treats, or you can provide a treat bag for each participant to use to collect their sweets.

 

Set up tables in your clubhouse or gathering place for participants to place their cookies. Consider providing notecards and markers, so each person can put the recipe title (and their name!) in front of their cookies. Once all of the treats are in place, each participant can pick several of each type of cookie to take home with them. Yum!

 

Encourage your residents to share their recipes and photos of their treats socially, and tag your community’s social channels. You can even create a custom hashtag for them to use when posting, which will allow you to easily track conversations and engage with them!

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Holiday Gift Giving Activities in Your Community

Holiday Gift Giving Activities in Your Community
One of the best parts of the holiday season is giving to others, whether it’s by volunteering your time, baking a sweet treat to share, or picking out the perfect gift for someone. Any of these gift giving options can be incorporated at your community for a small cost, but with a high impact. If you’re leaning towards hosting a holiday party for your residents, consider incorporating one of these types of gifting:   White Elephant This is a fun activity that residents of all ages can be involved in, and the best part is, they don’t have to spend much in order to participate- in fact, setting a limit is preferred! Invite your residents to contribute a wrapped gift, and place all gifts in the center of the room on the floor or on a table. Draw numbers out of a basket or hat to determine who gets to pick a gift from the pile first. The first person will have to pick from the selection of wrapped gifts, but each person thereafter will be able to either pick a wrapped gift or ‘steal’ the unwrapped gift from anyone who has already picked. If an unwrapped gift is taken from someone, that person can either ‘steal’ from another participant or select a wrapped gift. This game can continue until all gifts are chosen from the wrapped pile and each person has taken a turn. In this game, the perk of going last means that person can pick any gift they’d like – and sinc......
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“Baby It’s Cold Outside…” No Seriously, My Utilities Aren’t Working

“Baby It’s Cold Outside…” No Seriously, My Utilities Aren’t Working
Winter is here, and with winter comes an array of holiday, seasonal cheer. Housewarming music fills the radio, along with every decoration imaginable. With all the hot cocoa, pine cone wreaths, and sparkly trees, comes an expectation for comfortable living. I mean “comfortable living” in the sense that your heater works on your day off, because there is no better way to ruin holiday cheer than by anchoring yourself to a single spot on the couch with a mountain of blankets so high there are people forming a line to see what the view is like from the top. Addressing common utility issues that accompany cold weather now, rather than waiting until you're getting emergency maintenance calls at 2 a.m., ensures that your site staff gets to enjoy the holidays. Inform the Residents We all lived through the magic that was Frozen over the last year, but in order to avoid a similar experience for your residents, helping them understand some basic preventative maintenance can go a long way. While sub-freezing temperatures can lead to an increased risk of burst pipes, according to the Weather Channel1, 20 degrees is the magic number where the likelihood dramatically increases. But unlike Anna and the rest of Arendelle, you can teach your residents some tricks to help combat the freezing temperatures. Turning faucets on to a slow drip can help prevent pipes from freezing, and keeping thermostats at temperatures above 60 degrees, even when residents leave town, can help prevent frozen pipes as well. In add......
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