This year, in a effort to spice up our office holiday party, we decided to try doing a silent auction. Proceeds would benefit a specific clinic in our local Children's Hospital, as one of our employees suffers from a congenital heart defect and is treated there. It's one of few places in the country with a specialty in that particular defect.
We asked people to put together themed baskets to auction off. Participation was voluntary. For the first few weeks after the announcement, not much happened. No one seemed to want to contribute.
By yesterday - the day before the party - my office was so full of baskets I couldn't get into the filing cabinets. Someone called just this morning (the party was today) to donate a sloppy joe lunch for up to 30 people. We started to worry that with 30 or so baskets, we wouldn't have enough bidding going on to get value for what we had. The entire department is only fifty people.
The final tally won't be in until tomorrow, but based on what we saw on the final bids, the total will be mind-blowing. Bidding started on many items at twice what we expected. The most ferocious bidding war erupted over a basketful of cool Hot Wheel cars (never underestimate the bidding prowess of a mom who promised she would bring something home for her two sons!).
A good time was had by all, a good deed was done.
The best holiday party we've had in ages.