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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal State Chico chapter.

As we enter into the season of giving, lots of thoughts fill my mind about gratitude and giving back to my community. 

Every year around Thanksgiving, my feed is flooded with hundreds of posts about what people are thankful for. Don’t get me wrong, gratitude is a great thing, and I will always encourage that. You should be thankful for your lives and the contents of it every day. Every opportunity you get, every purchase, meal, and even your own friends. There can be so much love filled in life and I know how easy it is to get carried away in life, mainly from school stress. I think it’s important to take a step back, reflect, and really show those around you how much they mean to you. Write them a sweet text message or letter, give a big hug, or simply just let them know how much you care. There is no better feeling than feeling loved and appreciated by those around you. 

Gratitude, to me, also includes giving back. As a college student, I know many people are struggling to make ends meet already. Volunteering is a fulfilling way to give back to the community in and surrounding Chico, while simultaneously helping out families or organizations in need of help, all for a relatively low cost (if any cost at all).  The holidays can be a really hard time of year for so many different people. It’s important that if you’re able, you give back to your community members in their time of need. I call Chico home for the majority of the year, and I think college students make up a huge part of Chico. It’s important that we show love to the community that we live in, especially during a time of need for many people. Whether you volunteer in the upcoming month, or save these ideas for next semester, they’re great to keep in mind!

  1. City of Chico- Volunteer Calendar

This calendar stays up to date on the city’s volunteer plans. There are two opportunities coming up for this Friday, December 1st, 2023: a pond clean up at Comanche Creek and Verbena Fields Volunteer Fridays! There is contact information listed on the website for further information and to RSVP.  

  1. Downtown Chico Events

This website offers information for volunteering at events such as the iconic Thursday night market downtown. There’s a brief form to fill out on the website if you are interested!

  1. Salvation Army Opportunities

The Salvation Army offers several different opportunities to give back, especially for the holiday season. The Chico Corps need help with food distribution (packing and delivering), and being a seasonal bell ringer (a sight to see during every Christmas season!). There is more detail listed under each volunteer task, as well as contact information and forms. All of the work for the Salvation Army is on a flexible schedule!

  1. Reading Pals!

Reading Pals Chico is an organization that partners volunteers with children in local Chico schools to help children read and meet grade-level standards. This program is just one hour a week. 

All of these programs are in need of volunteers! There is contact information and forms on all of the websites. If you’re feeling like you want to give back to your community, I highly encourage it! The feeling of helping someone is an amazing feeling, and around this time of year, the feeling of love is particularly needed.

McKenzie Kirsch

Cal State Chico '25

McKenzie (Kenzie) Kirsch is the current Editor-in-Chief for the Her Campus Chico Chapter. Kenzie is a fourth-year at Chico State, studying English Education in hopes of being an English teacher. Kenzie has also picked up a minor in Child Development, and has made the Dean's List for five out of six semesters at Chico State. She likes having fun, but is also very serious about her studies as well. She is originally from a small town in Northern California called Wheatland, about 30 minutes north of Sacramento, CA. She loves the community of Chico and is very happy to be spending her college years here. Kenzie is also an active member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, and has made lifelong memories there. Outside of school, she likes to bake, read and write, workout and hike! Chico is the perfect place to explore and meet new people. She is so excited to be a member of Her Campus and continue her writing journey!