Olivia Sunderlik ’21: When referring to the holiday season, many think of it as the time of giving. This “giving” usually comes in the form of gifts to friends, family, or anyone that a person feels thankful for. An equally important and meaningful act of “giving” involves donating or helping those in need.
On Tuesday, December 1st, the annual event titled “Giving Tuesday” took place. Thousands of businesses, schools, and individuals around the world participated by providing donations to charities supporting various causes. While this event may be over, the generosity and helpfulness continues. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, various local families and individuals struggle to make ends meet. Through the whole month of December, there exists multiple ways to get involved with the community and make a difference in the lives of others. Any donation, even a small one, helps a person more than one may think.
“I’ve always believed the holidays are a time for giving to others, especially those less fortunate. It’s even more important this year,” Lila Libby ‘21 said.
As Christmas rolls around, children usually look forward to new toys. Unfortunately, many parents struggle to afford gifts for their children. In order to help these families, try to donate to organizations like Toys for Tots. This organization, created by the US Marines, collects unwrapped toys for kids and distributes those gifts to those in need. In the Romeo and Washington area, one may find donation centers at Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, the Pantry Restaurant, Tarr & Associates, and Stoney Creek Metropark. To find campaigns nearby, access the campaign locator on the Toys for Tots website. Any toy, no matter how big or small, holds the ability to put a smile on a kid’s face Christmas morning.
Enjoying a nice dinner with family yields another significant holiday tradition. As the holidays near, contemplate donating extra food to local food banks. The Romeo Samaritan House and Salvation Army aim to provide some stability and stress relief for struggling families and the homeless by providing food and other necessities. If possible, grab an extra item of canned foods or other non-perishable items at the store to help out those in need.
Along with these ideas, this season holds many opportunities to donate to charities that support a myriad of causes. By looking online, one can find various organizations to support virtually. For example, donating to St. Jude’s website sends a holiday card to a child on Christmas morning. Furthermore, SantaCAN allows people to donate money or gifts to help provide presents for foster kids. Operation Christmas Child invites people to contribute funds and help build a shoebox of toys online for children. Lastly, the United Way Christmas Bureau uses donations to provide programs and supplies to families in need. These non-profit organizations supply some amazing services, but a simple google search leads to so many more wonderful charities. Any donations help these programs and make a difference.
“Especially during Christmas, I think it is very important to help others any way you can,” Allison Hummel ‘21 said.
As the holidays approach, look for possibilities to give to those in need. Simple acts of kindness come in many forms. Donations of money or gifts support the less fortunate; however, remember that money is not required to help others. Writing cards, baking cookies, leaving kind notes, or simply expressing appreciation for those who need it greatly impacts the lives of others. This holiday season, any form of giving back holds amazing opportunities to make a difference.