TX. Volunteer

During the winter, especially around the holidays, is a popular time to volunteer and do charity work. While it is good to volunteer all year round, it is very popular to do some sort of giving during the holidays to help the less fortunate.

As a teenager, it can be hard to find meaningful ways to help because many places need volunteers over the age of 18, and donation websites often require credit cards and large sums of money.

But if you are looking for ways to make a difference, I would recommend getting involved through a school or volunteering through an assisted living center to brighten the days of people who might not get to see their families.

Get involved with school activities

The easiest way to help is through schools. Often, schools have some kind of charity event during the holidays, and donating to or helping with these events can help your surrounding community and schools.

My school, for example, is having a food drive for specific items to start a pantry in the school. Other schools do things like food drives for food banks, Christmas present donations to local families in need or fundraisers for charity. If your school does not already have something like this, think about talking to your administrators to start one if you have any ideas.

These drives depend on student participation, so make sure to get involved. You can also check at other schools in your area and help with their fundraisers if you are not able to do one in your own school.

Weber High School, for instance, is doing a Quarters & Cans fundraiser that you can donate to online; just go to the school’s website. Or, Ogden High is having a fundraiser camp for kids from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23. The cost is $10 dollars per child and you can find out more details on Ogden High’s website. The proceeds go to educational programs at a Haitian orphanage.

Visit an assisted living center

Assisted living centers are popular places to visit during the holidays. Singing carols, reading with the residents there and just talking with them can make the holiday feel special.

It’s a good idea to call ahead and organize your visit with the staff because they have schedules and routine times that people can visit. Some assisted living communities in the area are Legacy House of Park Lane in Farmington, Heartfelt Home Assisted Living in Centerville and Legacy House Assisted Living in Ogden. There are many more.

Visiting an assisted living center is also a good thing to do with a group of people, so you can get your friends involved.

Remember, the charity that is done during the holidays can also be done during other times of the year.

Food pantries always need food, and assisted living centers can usually always use volunteers. The holidays are a good time to start helping, but try to make it a tradition that lasts all year long.

Making a commitment to volunteer with organizations like the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near Ogden or the Ogden Nature Center are good ways to make sure that you keep the spirit of generosity alive all year long.

Corinna Healey is a sophomore at the DaVinci Academy. Email her at corinnahealey@gmail.com.

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