Every year it seems like the holiday season comes earlier and earlier, with Christmas decorations and shopping starting in October. Stores are now offering their Black Friday deals weeks before Thanksgiving, and according to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend more than $465 billion a year on holiday gifts. Although it’s always nice to receive gifts, it is important to remember that the holiday season is about gratitude and giving.
It is often easy to be grateful and to give back within your own home and family. However, there are many people in the community that need help and there are tons of ways to help them. For example, volunteering at “Meals on Wheels” in Detroit, Michigan. Meals on Wheels is an organization that addresses senior hunger and isolation. Millions of seniors across the globe face the threat of hunger. One could volunteer to drop off a warm meal to someone in need, or volunteer to package donated food to be delivered.
“It’s amazing that one individual can have such an impact, every volunteer matters,” a volunteer at Meals on Wheels, Louise Guyton said.
Another volunteer opportunity in the community is through the Howell Carnegie Library. They have a teen-volunteering program throughout the summer, as well as an opportunity to volunteer after school. Teen volunteers primarily help keep the youth area clean and organized. Additionally, they help create storytime name tags, bulletin boards, and hang artwork.
“I love being able to give back and help out people who do so much for our community. Working with the kids is so much fun and it’s just such a great experience,” a teen-volunteer at the library, Aurora Husic said.
There are also volunteer opportunities at the Shepherd of the Lakes Church in Brighton. It’s open to all high schoolers, and you don’t have to attend the church to volunteer. The volunteers help out by making toy bags for kids called “wiggle bags”. The purpose to give the bags to the kids so that both the parents and their children can attend the service without them getting bored or being disruptive. Volunteer opportunities are available once or twice a month.
“It’s nice to do small things because those small things really do make a difference in our community,” a teen-volunteer at the church, Sydney Boman said.
Giving back is very important, without it seniors could go hungry, children may not have a safe and clean library to play at, and families may have to stay at home instead of attending church. The community should work together to show everyone what the holiday season is really about.