By Rachel Back, SCS Advising Leader:
Congratulations on making it to finals week! You’ve worked very hard this semester, so give yourself a round of applause and make sure you treat yourself during break- you’ve earned it!
The holidays are quickly approaching, so what better time to give back to the community than now? Even though there are people in need all year round, spending time with friends and family and exchanging gifts can truly serve as a reminder of how blessed we are to be living the lives we have right now. If you are interested in giving back to the community but do not know where or how to start, do not fret! There are plenty of ways to contribute, even if you do not have the funds to do it.
1) Volunteer with some friends and family at a local organization. One of my favorite traditions is volunteering at Feed My Starving Children with my family right after New Year’s. This non-profit organization works closely with other organizations to combat world hunger. Volunteers are tasked to either package food, carry boxes, or make labels. The environment is always competitive yet friendly, and it’s always fun to meet new people! Volunteering is a great way to spend some time with your loved ones while making an impact in the world, and it doesn’t have to be limited to just helping people: you can always volunteer at animal shelters as well!
2) Participate in food drives. If you have any spare nonperishable foods in your pantry, you should consider donating them to local food banks! They distribute food and groceries to people who are at risk of hunger. Some items that are donable include nut butters, canned foods, pasta, rice, and other nonperishable items. Please stay away from donating foods that require refrigeration, are expired, or have packaging concerns.
3) Become one of Santa’s helpers. If you’re looking to brighten someone’s day, becoming Santa’s helper is a great opportunity! You can answer a child’s letter to Santa by getting them gifts and writing them a personalized letter from “Santa” himself. You can contact your nearest USPS and ask if they have any letters for Santa available (keep in mind that select USPS postal branches choose to participate). You can visit their website for more details.
You can also become an elf for the animals in shelters! Animal shelters are always looking for people to donate toys, treats, and other goods to keep their animals happy and stimulated. Better yet, you could always gift an animal their forever home if you are able to!
4) Donate to charity. If you find that you don’t have enough time, you can always donate money to different charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Humane Society, American Breast Cancer Foundation, etc. Even an amount as small as $5 can easily add up to large amounts, so your participation matters!