“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The iconic words are inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, meant to welcome the downtrodden and downhearted into a place of opportunity, or perhaps a brighter future. Just through the golden door.
Doors have always been the perfect metaphor for the chance to a better life. They’re thresholds between the nasty, frigid, blustery world and the sheltered, warm indoors. With the nasty and the frigid quickly approaching, there are many who need the chance to come in from the cold.
With the winter holidays approaching, it’s the time of year to give something back to the world. Alongside the obvious benefit of doing good for the needy, door dealers can also connect to their local communities and gain visibility through charity.
By giving to charity, you can go above and beyond the call of duty. You can help those who have more to worry about than simply their garage door. Your customers—current and potential—will see the difference you’re making. So will you.
So start a toy drive for a local charity. You can also organize a dinner or silent auction where the funds from attendance or auction items go to a philanthropic organization. Even making a monetary donation can make a big difference.
Or, you can go to your roots—and donate doors.
This is exactly what Overhead Door Co. of Northwest Indiana did. In October, the company donated an Overhead Door Corp. garage door and opener to the Northwest Indiana segment of Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that builds and renovates houses to help those in need. Installation tech Andrew Medrano installed the door and opener.
“We want to stay involved with those in need,” said Jim Cameron, president of Overhead Door of Northwest Indiana. “Therefore, we are adding more initiatives to our calendar.”
Overhead Door is also sponsoring a food drive this month and its second annual toy drive in December. The company is an example of how door dealers everywhere can get involved with a charity in multiple places and at different times.
There are a lot of different national charities from which to choose if you’re having trouble finding something local. Habitat for Humanity is one. A few others are the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Annual Holiday Toy Drive, which collects new, unwrapped toys to give to less fortunate children; the American Red Cross, which provides health and safety services and responds to national disasters among other things; and United Way, which gives money to support education, income and health programs to help people have the opportunities for a good life.
You can also look at Forbes’ list of the 200 largest U.S. charities. If you’re searching for ideas of how you can help raise funds, you can brainstorm with PDD’s article on generosity in business or our charity topics page. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your charity ideas!
By reaching out, you can give those out in the cold and wind some reprieve, and perhaps a little opportunity for a better life. Be bold. Lift your lamp. Open doors.
Molly Bilker is a sophomore journalism major at Arizona State University (ASU) in Phoenix. She is part of ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College, and is completing a minor in Spanish. She comes from an arts-focused middle and high school with a creative-writing background. She actively participates in the arts, including creative writing, guitar, and vocal music, theater, photography, ballroom dance, drawing, and film. To reach her, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.