It’s Christmastime which means thinking about all the presents coming our way. I’m sure everyone reading this is on the “nice” list, not a naughty one among you, right?
So, what about the opportunities to give? This is the time for everyone that has the means to find extracurricular chances to donate your time or money or both. From the Salvation Army greeters to homeless pets to rounding up your total at the local fast food chain as they help your fellow citizens, we can all step it up this time of year.
But even if it’s not the holidays, we may get asked multiple times a day to help each other. And many of you do just that. We are in a great industry that does give a lot. Almost all the big players have organized giving. Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) Care Camps is one of the more well-known corporate programs, while many individual campgrounds host events during the year for various local causes.
But can we do more, right now? We can if we focus and make opening our hearts and minds a priority starting today using the reach of our communities or business to do so. Connecting with amazing causes in your area can lead to amazing relationships within your community. I’ve written before about relationships — e.g., repeat and referrals being your number one source of business — it doesn’t happen by accident.
You can be a Toys for Tots drop center and really work the program for the kids by matching every toy dropped off with a toy from the park. Host the local humane society for a special Christmas adoption at your Dog Park and pay the adoption frees for the animals getting a new home that day. Not only would you save those pets but you’re providing so much joy for those families. You and your staff can volunteer for Meals on Wheels deliveries locally and ask some of the restaurants you work with to donate subs or pizzas instead of the normal food offered on this program.
One of our AGS campgrounds, Briarcliffe RV in Myrtle Beach, has an auction every year to raise money to the North Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad. Not only does it bring people together for a good cause but several local businesses who also advertise in the guest guide we produce for Briarcliffe are generous enough to donate items as well. But this is just one example of a campground using its connections in the community to come together for a good cause.
You get the idea, but don’t ever forget to reach out to your vendors. For us here at AGS, we get requests to donate banners or wallboards or color fliers to promote a charitable activity. Every campground has partners who you do a lot of business with who also have big hearts. And you can always reciprocate! You might have space that they don’t have or meeting facilities that they would die for. From craft fairs to wine tastings — the possibilities are as endless as you want them to be.
At AGS we donate a portion of each ad to various causes. In addition, if a campground has a particular cause that they’d like to highlight — a local Boy Scout troop, the local animal shelter — with an ad in their guide, we’re very happy to accommodate that. We even work with campgrounds if they’d like to use their annual AGS loyalty credit to make a donation to one of these causes. But we look to do more at Christmas and I’m willing to bet you all have vendors that do, too.
Michael Moore is general manager of AGS Guest Guides, a division of Texas Advertising. You can email him with any questions or concerns at [email protected] or visit www.AGSPub.com.