Start the New Year Right

Christmas may be over, but that does not mean that we should stop spreading the love. During the holiday months, we often forget that there are many unfortunate people in the world. To combat this, my school held our annual Christmas Drive. The student body was encouraged to donate personal items, clothing, non-perishables, or toys. Similarly, outside my local supermarket, clipboards were passed around to raise donations for children and families. Still, crowds of shoppers walked by, barely giving it a second look.

This has come to be expected during this time of year, and we have grown so accustomed to it that we think nothing of it. I am definitely guilty of this, too. While I understand that some people are uncomfortable with donating to national charities, I urge you to show your act of philanthropy in any way that you can. Below, I have composed a list to help you reach out to others during the holiday season.

  1. Visit a children’s home/homeless shelter. Visiting a children’s home or homeless shelter can make your donation more personable. Bring anything that you think a person might need.  From soap or shampoo to towels or shoes.
  2. Volunteer at a meal center (soup kitchen). If you want more information, visit your local volunteer organization or a local church community. They are often involved in these events, particularly during this time of year.
  3. Start your own Christmas/New Year’s Drive. This option is a great way to get other people involved!

It’s possible that your school or city isn’t already involved in any of the above suggestions. You can start your own Christmas Drive by encouraging your family and friends to donate to a children’s home or a children’s homeless center of your choice. Or, perhaps you know a family in need. You can collect various household items and create a care package. It is then up to you to decide if you want to donate the care package anonymously or in person. Do what makes you feel comfortable.

It is important to remember that you don’t have to help others solely during the holiday season. Take some time out of your daily schedule to show little acts of kindness, whether that means helping an elderly neighbor, reading to children at your local bookstore, or peer tutoring at your school. You will find that the more you do selfless acts, the more enriched your life will become. In addition, this a great way to start off the New Year.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

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