4 Simple Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

As we enter the season of giving, college students may want to look into alternative ways to give back. Giving back to your community is the perfect way to show holiday spirit, and it doesn't need to break the bank or require a lot of your time. Spread cheer this holiday season with these simple activities to give back. 

1. Write Thank You Letters

Professors and TAs work just as hard as students during finals. Grading hundreds of papers and exams can get tiring, so a little appreciation goes a long way! If a certain instructor has left an impression on you, let them know, whether it be that they went above and beyond to help you with the course or they might have made the class a little more enjoyable. Nothing is more reassuring for an instructor than knowing they left a positive impact on a student's education. 

2. Shop Local

More likely than not, you're going to be buying gifts for loved ones. Skip out on the overcrowded malls and retail giants, and head to some small, local shops. At small boutiques, you can find cute, unique gifts for the entire family. Some may even sell handcrafted items that are one of a kind! Keep in mind that when you shop local, you're not only benefiting the local economy, but you're also helping a family put food on the table. 

3. Volunteer at Your Local Nursing Home

As it's the most wonderful time of the year, nursing homes are looking for volunteers to help spread the cheer. Residents may be unable to travel to see their families over the holidays, so the staff brings the celebration to them. Unfortunately, the employees can only do so much on their own. Volunteers are wanted to help decorate the facilities, partake in seasonal activities or even bring a small gift or two. No one should spend the holidays alone, and residents would be more than grateful to have visitors! 

4. Donate

The best part of the holidays is the food. It's what brings families and friends together. When you're grocery shopping, purchase an extra box of rice and a couple more cans of beans. If you're going home for winter break, clean out the pantry. Don't let your food go to waste! There are multiple food banks in the Iowa City area to donate to. If you don't know what to donate or don't have any extras in the cupboards, small monetary donations go a long way as well to help those in need this holiday season. 

The holidays are all about giving back. Whether you're spending time or money, it doesn't need to be difficult. All that matters is that you're putting smiles on the faces of others!

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