Coming home for winter break is always a bit of a surreal feeling. One day you’re in full finals mode and as the sleep deprivation really starts to creep up, suddenly you’re home on your couch watching Criminal Minds and thinking about what you’re going to do with yourself for the next month.
Netflix binges are all good and necessary, but consider devoting a couple hours of your week to the best gift you can give this holiday season: your time.
If you don’t volunteer regularly, getting your start over the holidays is the perfect time. If you used to volunteer in high school, your experience will be that much better now that you’re in college with a broader sense of what it means to live in the real world. Find a cause you care about and enter a community of the most loving, selfless and inspiring people you will ever meet. Volunteers are the building blocks for organizations that aid the less fortunate and many rely entirely on experienced volunteers for day-to-day services and projects.
The holiday season is magical and a time to celebrate. But for many it’s a struggle with a lot of heartbreak as they fight to make ends meet and brave the cold, winter months.
Volunteers make the difference. Whether you work at a daycare or a homeless shelter, you will see your impact in the eyes of those who so greatly appreciate the smallest things like a hot meal on a below freezing winter day. You will be inspired. You’ll laugh and cry. And you’ll walk away with a renewed sense of your place among fellow human beings. Extend a hand of love and warmth and it will be reciprocated.
So grab a friend or a sibling and make a difference. The volunteering equation is simple and foolproof – you help yourself by helping others.