Give Thanks - Give Back!
by Jillian Bietz
The holiday season is a time for exchanging gifts, but it is also a great time for helping others. But do you feel like its time to give back to your community, but you just don't know where to start? Well here are some ideas for getting the most of this joyful and charitable time.
The Local Library
Do you spend a lot of your time reading? Do friends often ask you to recommend a book or movie to them? Do you love being in a creative environment? If so, you may enjoy volunteering at the community library. Whether your tasks are as fun as reading the colorful pages of a book to an eager child, or your just stacking books on a shelf, the satisfaction in knowing you have helped your community is wonderful. Just pop over to the local library, and ask the librarian if there are any volunteer jobs available. There's no doubt that they would not want someone as eager as you around!
Soup Kitchen or Homeless Shelter
As the Holiday season rolls around, it can be hard to focus on others when our minds are filled up with thoughts of Thanksgiving dinner, and holiday presents. Although these things will be front and center in our daily lives for the next few months, the season is a time for giving, so why not help those less fortunate? Volunteer at the local Soup Kitchen or Homeless Shelter. Every community has an organization that serves hot holiday meals to families who otherwise could not afford to share a holiday meal together. Some groups deliver daily necessities to those who need assistance. These types of organizations are always looking for enthusiastic and sincere volunteers to help out, so why not give it a shot?
Homeless animals need love and care, also. If you love dogs and cats, you could be a perfect volunteer for the animal shelter or local animal rescue. You might be able to walk dogs, feed animals, or just collect needed pet food and blankets in your neighborhood. Give your shelter a call and see what they need. It just might be you!
The above places offer excellent volunteer opportunities. Many places search for caring individuals during the holidays, which tend to be the busiest of times. If you are looking for a more convenient place to help, just ask your parents if they could use your help around the house. Why not unload the dishwasher, or help your mom set the table for dinner? Maybe you could offer to babysit your little brother, or help your Dad wash the car. A little goes a long way, and the satisfaction you will receive after you give will fill your heart with joy and love during this wonderful season.
Jillian Bietz is a high school sophomore. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, creative writing, acting and cooking.
Sharon Scott's best-selling book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand outónot just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
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