As part of The Gallery Collection’s charitable donation program, we recently made a donation of 100 Birthday Cards and 100 Notecards to the Soulistic Hospice. Soulistic Hospice is a local, faith-based, and nonprofit hospice.
Soulistic Hospice strives to deliver the highest level of care available, including pain and symptom management that incorporates complementary treatments where appropriate. They strive to always provide dignified care to the needs of the patient and their loved ones.
Soulistic Hospice views the final phase of life as holding tremendous potential for emotional and spiritual growth for all involved. They embrace the privilege of being a part of this process with humility and a deep respect for the individuals and families who allow them to assist in this special passage of life.
For more information about Soulistic Hospice, and how you can help, please visit their website at http://soulistichospice.org/.
Being in charge of planning office parties is tough, but I do enjoy the challenge. Every year we have at least four office parties. There is the annual Christmas party, and our office Thanksgiving feast. And then twice a year my company likes to throw a shindig to show the staff how much they appreciate all the hard work they have done. A day to just let go and have fun. We have had some really nice parties. Some of our office party themes have been “Fabulous 50’s” where we came dressed in poodle skirts, ponytails, leather jackets, and bobby socks. We had root beer floats, french fries and burgers. Hula hoop contests, bubble gum blowing contests, we even had a phrase contest. The person who wrote down the most words or phrases from the 50’s won a gift card. We’ve had the “Stars from the 70’s” theme. Everyone got to dress as their favorite star from that era. Trying to guess them was fun. We’ve also had “Country Western Roundup”, “Country Fair Jamboree” and “Desert Island Scavenger Hunt.”
I think my all time favorite would have to be “A Day to Say Mahalo.” Have you ever seen a grown man hula? Everyone received their grass skirts, their coconut cups, and their leis (plastic of course). Whenever you saw someone do or say something nice, you gave them a lei. The person with the most leis at the end of the day won a gift card. We had a really nice buffet lunch also. Pulled pork, pineapple upside cake, coconut shrimp, and fish of course.
Office parties are a great way to show your staff that you really care. You can even have a contest on what the next office party theme should be. You would be surprised at all the great ideas people have.
The Gallery Collection was pleased to recently donate 125 holiday cards to the Peoria Vet Center in Peoria, IL. We have a long history of making charitable donations to service groups for both Veterans and active military. It is a tradition that The Gallery Collection is very proud of!
If you are interested in learning more about America’s military Veterans you can visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. http://www.va.gov/
As the owner of a small company, when a disgruntled employee comes to me with a complaint involving another employee, or employees, I find the best way to deal with it is to hear from everyone involved, individually and then together. I’m sure we’ve all heard the cliché, there are two sides to every story, as well as nothing is black or white, it’s all grey. I find that LISTENING to the employees is of utmost importance. Usually, they calm themselves after airing their views, knowing someone cares enough to hear them after which we can work on resolving their anger/frustration. Taking the time to show that you care and want to help is a great attribute both to you and the employee. Keeping this in mind I have always had 100% positive results.
If the disgruntled employee’s complaint does not involve another person, but rather a situation, i.e. they would like to sit in an area away from a window; they have expressed concerns about getting a new chair, keyboard, art supplies, to their Supervisor to no avail, I assure them that I will personally take the time to look into the situation, and reach a satisfactory solution, one that is agreeable to all concerned. It works every time.
Somehow, long, long ago, I became the gift buyer for our office. Any time there is a birthday, wedding, retirement or employment anniversary, I am the one everyone turns to figure out what to get. I thought I’d share our go-to birthday gifts that are ideal for coworkers.
Personally, I think gift cards are fabulous. You can get them in large or small amounts, and you can get them for almost any establishment. So, if you are getting a birthday gift for someone and it is just from you, you can get a $10 or $20 gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks, Target or Amazon, or simply a Visa gift card.
If it is a group gift, where you have collected money from a group of people, then a restaurant gift card in a larger dollar amount is usually well received. Another plus for gift cards is that they are so convenient to find. The local drug stores now carry an enormous amount of gift cards from many different stores. Gift cards are truly our go-to birthday gift. The only downside I sometimes hear is that they lack the “personal touch” but that is what makes them perfect gifts for co-workers. You can add a personal touch by writing a nice personalized birthday card to go along with it. Also, if you pick someone’s favorite restaurant, or store, the personal touch is that you knew enough about them to select one of their favorites.
Having trouble thinking of exactly how to write a thank you letter? Well, first of all, congratulations for having such good manners! Secondly, just say how you feel. Maybe it is easier for you to start with an outline; remember who, what, when, where and how from grammar school?
• Who gave you the gift? (very important to personalize)
• What was the gift? (nice to mention in the letter again to make more personal)
• When was it given? (for which occasion)
• Where was the gift given? (was it a party?)
• How will you use the gift? (mention what the gift meant to you)
Dear Aunt Betty,
Thank you for the ear buds you gave me for my birthday. I will remember you every time I plug in to listen to my favorite tunes. It was wonderful seeing you at my party and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Your Niece Barbie
Also, keep in mind what not to do.
• Do not write a generic thank you letter and Xerox it for mass mailing.
• Do not go on and on, just get to the point and write a sincere thank you letter.
• Do not sound phony. If you don’t like the gift you can thank the giver for their thoughtfulness and generosity.
• Do not wait too long so send your thank you note
When a co-worker loses a loved one, even the most confident among us sometimes find it a challenge to know the right thing to say. The obvious and most practical thing to do when dealing with a death in the office is to send thoughtful sympathy cards with a personal note included. But who among us has not stared at a card, pen in hand, wondering what would be appropriate? It is admirable to want to comfort someone, but the co-worker relationship has to be considered. It is appropriate to express your feelings to your co-worker by recognizing that the person is suffering. Statements like “I’m sorry for your loss” or “My thoughts are with you and your family at this time” show them that you care.
Don’t avoid a colleague who is grieving simply because you don’t know what to say. Honesty is the best policy in this situation. You can simply say, “I just don’t know what to say, but I am sorry for your loss.” Again, a tasteful sympathy card can come to your rescue if speaking directly to someone about this topic has you stumped. Conversely, offering too much info or advice can overwhelm a co-worker who is coping with a difficult situation. For example, relating about how your grandfather suffered in his final days would not be helpful. In short, an honest, simple response is often the best approach.