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Ways to make a difference this holiday season

Press release from the issuing company

Livingston, MT – In an effort to help others this holiday season, PrintingForLess.com (PFL), America's Print Shop at www.printingforless.com, is offering more than online printing services or custom holiday cards. To spread holiday cheer, they are sharing their simple, top five ways to help make a difference in the local community.
"With the recession, many people need help, and it's definitely the year to focus on giving rather than receiving," says Andrew Field, PrintingForLess.com Founder and CEO. "With this in mind, our team put together our 'top 5' list to show that it's possible to make a big difference in someone's life without spending a lot of time, money or effort."
Here's how you can help:
1.    Organize a food drive.
Every year, PFL works with their local, Livingston Food Pantry to collect non-perishable food items. In 2009, PFL employees collected more than 1,900 items, or five palettes, of food for the Livingston Food Pantry, http://lfp.cfsites.org/. "The amount of food that PFL collected will help us feed more than 50 families for one week," says Michael McCormick, executive director of the Livingston Food Pantry. "Thanks to the generous contribution of PFL's employees, we can now better provide for families in need."
2.    Collect clothes for the needy.
Collect blankets and slightly worn clothing for a local charity. For example, PFL organized a Patagonia Clothes Sale with all proceeds helping The Community Closet Thrift Store, http://www.communitycloset.com/. "It was such a great feeling to see the employees work together to help others," says Marne Reed, PFL Human Resources Director.
3.    Help local animals.
There are a variety of ways help the furry friends in your area without spending a lot of money. You can simply give the gift of your time. The holidays are the perfect time to volunteer to walk dogs, or play with cats at your local animal shelter. Or consider supporting a business that gives part of their proceeds to the shelter of your choice. For example, PFL sends out premium Specialty Roast Coffee, http://www.specialtyroast.com/, as customer gifts, and a portion of the profits go to the local Stafford Animal Shelter, http://www.staffordanimalshelter.org/.
4.    Hold a silent auction.
A silent auction is a great way to raise money for a specific cause. Recently, PFL held a silent auction where they collected over $6,000 for two kids who had recently lost their father. To hold a silent auction of your own, start by reaching out to the businesses in your local area to see if they will donate auction items that attendees can bid on. Then see if you can get the venue, entertainment and/or food donated. Once you have everything in place, spread the word by putting an event announcement in your local paper or on the radio.
5.    Sponsor a family.
If you want to help specific individuals, try working with a local charity to "sponsor a family." This way, the family requests exactly what they need, and your team can help them enjoy a dream holiday with food, clothing, toys, and more.
"There are many ways to help others this holiday season that don't cost anything but a little bit of your time," says Field. "By being creative and getting involved, you and your team members will have fun, create better working relationships and have a memorable holiday season."
What ideas do you have for helping your local community during this holiday season? Please let us know by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you and share your ideas.