During the holiday season, many people are feeling generous and are inclined to contribute to a charity, but organizations must think creatively to make an appeal that stands out from all the other requests. Rush Copley Hospital has done that with their Giving Wreaths.

Employees or departments at the hospital choose to decorate a wreath. The wreaths are first displayed along the glass windows in the main entranceway, making for festive décor, and then anyone can purchase a raffle ticket for $2 and indicate which wreath they would like to win.

The Giving Wreaths have become a competition of pride among the participants and you can tell that much time and love went into making them. Wreaths each have a theme: Christmas on the Beach, Making Spirits Bright (with alcohol bottles), or Sugar Plum Fairy (with candy and sweets).

Think of how you can make your holiday donation drive serve multiple purposes: engaging employees, decorating your space, entertaining visitors and raising money. The wreaths accomplish all these things and may be an idea to adapt for your elves next year.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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