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     This year has been one of the hardest, most trying years for many people. Healthcare workers have been worn thin, thousands of people have lost their jobs, and thousands of families have struggled to put food on the table. As the holiday season approaches, along with the cold winter, people are in need of some holiday joy. This year has been tough on everyone, but giving back comes in many forms, and simply giving what you can will make all the difference in the world. 


1. Adopt a Family

     Adopt a Family is a program that allows somebody to “adopt” a child and give gifts to children whose families are not able to. The easiest way to adopt a child is to use the Salvation Army “Angel Tree” program. This year, it is easier than ever to adopt an “angel” and get the gifts. All you have to do is visit the website linked below, enter your zip code, and you are then taken to a registry on Walmart.com. After that, you can shop for gifts and have them shipped directly to the nearest Salvation Army, all without having to leave your home. All children should be able to feel the joy of receiving a gift for the holidays, regardless of their home situation. 

For more information, click here


2. A Million Thanks

     This is a website that has multiple ways to give back to our veterans and current military members. There is an option to “Grant a Wish,” which lets someone donate money in order to help buy something for an injured veteran. “Fund a Scholar” allows a person to donate money to go towards a scholarship for children who have had a parent die in the line of duty. If you want to help out, but don’t have the money or means to do so, don’t worry! There is an option to send a letter to an actively deployed military member to help bring them some holiday spirit. 

For more information, click here


3. Donate Blood

     This is something that can be done at any time of the year, but what’s a better time to give blood than the holidays? Due to the pandemic, there is a shortage of blood donations, and hospitals are always in need. If you are eligible to donate blood, you have the potential to save a life, and that is something that will bring more than one person joy. 

For more information, click here.


4. One Warm Coat

     One Warm Coat is an organization that hosts coat drives all across the country. Every year, people are left out in the cold with no warmth, so this organization collects coats and distributes them to those in need. This year, the pandemic hit hard and many families were left unable to pay utility bills and will have a long winter ahead of them. One Warm Coat donates any coats given to families, seniors, and veterans in need. So, if you have that one jacket, that if you’re anything like me, has been sitting in the bottom of your closet since two winters ago, look at the website and see if there is a coat drive near you. Everyone deserves a warm winter. 

For more information, click here.


5. Local Food Banks

     With the ongoing pandemic making it hard for people to get food on the table, you can help donate cans and non-perishable items to your local food bank. For many people, this is their only source of getting food, and most times, it still isn’t enough. Food banks all across the country are struggling to fill the shelves because of covid-19, but donating even a can of green beans or a pack of ramen will help feed someone during the holiday season. 


     This holiday season has been tough on everyone, but if you are willing or able to give back to somebody in need, it makes all the difference in the world. Because of the pandemic, giving looks a little different this year, seeing as it is riskier to go and volunteer for certain things, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. I encourage each and every one of you to use one of these links listed above to give back or research your own organizations and find one you are passionate about. This season is all about giving joy, and there is no greater feeling than the knowledge that you are helping someone else have a happy holiday. 

Ali McNew

Baylor '24

Alexandra McNew is a freshman Pre-Business major on the Marketing track at Baylor University. She is from the small town of Willis, Texas, which is just north of Houston. When she isn't studying or hanging out with friends, she loves to go to concerts, skateboarding, and playing her guitar. Her career goal is to become a music promoter at a record label and travel the world doing what she loves.
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