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Christmas is a time for giving, a time to show your loved ones appreciation, whether it be through a present or a socially distant high five.

 

Giving, however, does not only have to stop at family and friends, 2020 has not been an easy year and this is why volunteering for charities is so important this festive season. 

 

Chloe Donnellan, Chair of the DCU’s Raising and Giving (RAG) Society and third year communications student said: “For anyone who wants to volunteer but may feel intimidated by the prospect of it, I would say to just jump right in.”

 

RAG is a society in DCU run by college students, and throughout the year raises funds through a variety of events for their social projects.

 

“At the moment, we are organising an event, A Not So Silent Night, which aims to raise funds for Respond,” said Donnellan.

 

Respond provides housing for some of the most vulnerable groups in society including those who have lived in hostels and temporary/insecure accommodation for long periods.

 

“Most communities have initiatives set up to help the more vulnerable people, and if you find yours doesn’t have this, then why not be the person to introduce it,” said Donnellan.

 

Three TU Dublin students studying Business and Management from Naas Co. Kildare, have began their own initiative and launched a virtual fundraiser for their local food bank.

 

Cian Smith, Robert Garvey and Robert Hynes launched the fundraiser as a part of a college assignment to organise a charity event and have asked their community to run or walk in aid of Naas Food Bank.

 

“We’re local lads, it’s a local charity, we’re helping local people” said Smith.

 

“You have to pass that barrier, if you’re looking to do something for the greater good, you really do have to put yourself out of your comfort zone” said Smith.

 

So far the college students have raised over €4,100 for their local charity.

 

However, volunteering does not necessarily mean you have set up your own initiative or fundraiser, any help is appreciated.

 

“You can just as easily volunteer with college societies: said Donnellan.

 

“The best things in life are simple” said Smith. “Find out what charity does the Foodbank for example get a couple of non perishable goods, put together in a pack, it won’t cost you much, beans, pasta and simply deliver it to your local food bank.”

 

The Christmas season is about family, however it is also about community.

 

“Volunteering has been so important for myself in terms of gaining the perspectives of others” said Donnellan.

 

“People have just been unlucky in life and have not been given the same opportunities that we take for granted. That is why I would implore people to give their time where they can because you don’t realise the positive impact you can have.’”

 

Check out @DCURAG on Instagram for more information on what they do and upcoming events.

And @foodbank.fundraiser for more information on how you can help Naas Food Bank

Final year journalism student just trying to survive.
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