Written by Dominique McDonald
December has finally rolled around and you know what that means. Yes ladies and gentlemen; tis’ the season to be jolly. It’s time to deck the halls, hang the mistletoe and let the spirit of the holiday season roll in. You may have even started your Christmas wish list a little early this year but before you get too euphoric on the egg nog, remember that this is the season of giving. So what can you do to give a bit more this season? Well, volunteering might just be the thing for you and the best part is your friends can tag along.
The beauty about volunteering is that even if you’re short on cash, you can still donate your time – amongst other things. There are many local organizations that could use help during this time of year; for instance retirement homes, homeless shelters and food banks. Retirement homes have many patients that don’t get any visitors. Unfortunately that is the sad truth but volunteers can provide them with the companionship they need. Simple things like crafting, telling stories or even carolling will bring these patients so much joy. Homeless shelters are another organization that can use a hand or two during the holiday season. The cold weather brings in more people than the staff can handle on their own. This is where you come in. By volunteering with the shelter you can help in giving out meals and spread some cheer while doing it. Another would be donations in the form clothes or perishable food items donated to your local food bank.
If you’re still unsure of where you can give back, no worries your college probably has the answer. A lot of college campuses have a seasonal volunteer programs organized by students to help the less fortunate. One such program is the Holiday Shoebox Drive, where shoeboxes are decorated and filled with small gifts, as well as other essential personal items. These shoeboxes are then dropped off at various shelters around your school campus. These shoeboxes are such a simple way to bring Christmas cheer to someone who may not be in the position to do so for themselves. Another great program offered by many colleges are Christmas Toy Drives. Every child should be able to feel the joy of unwrapping a gift from Santa on Christmas morning. Unfortunately this is not always the case for every child but we can change that situation for many. By donating a toy and encouraging your friends to do the same, you can start a chain reaction that will result in an abundance of holiday spirit all around.
So this holiday season remember that is not about what you can get but rather what you can give. Give the best gift of all this year; generosity. Because although materialistic items will not last forever, the spirit of giving always will. Happy Holidays.
A few places to check out:
- Local Holiday Shoebox Drive
- Save The Children
- Big Brother Big Sister
- Heifer International
- Salvation Army