December 5th is International Volunteer Day, and it’s a ripe engagement opportunity for companies looking to get a leg up on employee morale before the holiday season goes into full swing.

Originally established by the UN General Assembly, International Volunteer Day was created to raise awareness of the benefits of volunteering, and encourage enrollment in international volunteer efforts. Volunteering has far-reaching positive effects, and its benefits can be realized just as easily on a community level.

The effects of volunteering in the workplace are undeniable. A 2017 Deloitte volunteer survey found that 70% of American workers believe volunteer activities are more likely to boost employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours, and 89% believe that sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those that do not.

Simply put, volunteering makes people feel good about themselves, their communities, and the people around them. Here are some events you can easily put together to increase the giving spirit in your office:

  • Coat Drive – Head on over to org and follow their easy steps for organizing a coat drive. Share the warmth and spread the love!
  • Toys for Tots – The US Marines have been running the Toys for Tots program since 1947. Visit their website to find your local campaign office, and you’re well on your way.
  • Volunteer Reward Initiative – Have a recognition system? Consider creating a special initiative to reward employees for volunteer activities they take part in on their own time.
  • Meal Service – There are several resources in your local community to volunteer. A good place to start is at org, where you can browse all of your local opportunities.

Start this December off right with an act of generosity, and you can help boost performance, morale, and engagement for a big finish to 2018.