How to Give Back During the Holidays

Kayla Winn ‘21 and Dara Dooley ‘21

There are many people and charities that could use our assistance during the holidays. Whether it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting a senior center, spending time at an animal shelter, or donating books to your local library, there are a number of ways to make a difference. Talk to friends and family to find some organizations you can get involved in and small or large ways that you can give back over your winter vacation. 

Simple acts of kindness make a difference. Increase your tips for waiters and waitresses because they rely on tips for most of their income. Clean out your closet and donate the items you no longer want to a shelter, or even bring cookies to a home for the elderly. Offer to help your parents –– many of our parents are stressed during the holiday season and simply offering to lend a hand could reduce their stress. 

Dara’s Experience Volunteering:

I had a very heartwarming experience at DTLA’s Midnight Mission on Skid Row. I spent my day volunteering with my family: I was in the kitchen with my sister, unwrapping boxes with food for the homeless, while my brothers were outside serving the food. It was disheartening to see so many men and women, who had virtually nothing, go through the line. But I couldn’t help but notice how grateful they were for the warm meal with big smiles on their faces. After we served the meals, we went to the toy drive section where each volunteer took a child around to pick out a number of toys to take with them after they left the shelter. There was a great variety for the children to pick from and they were so excited to get some new gifts. It felt so fulfilling to give these families a joyful Christmas that they otherwise would not have been able to have; my experience made me realize how fortunate I am and I strongly encourage anyone who wants to make a difference this Christmas to look into Midnight Mission or a similar organization.