For the holidays, students should volunteer: Give a gift to those who are less fortunate

Alisa Fox

As we all can see, the holidays are quickly approaching. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many of us are looking forward to the short reprieve of class work and responsibility that it gives us.

I, for one, am headed to Tennessee to visit my boyfriend’s parents and to celebrate the feast of thanks with them. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes and green bean casserole, it’s all going to be there at the table when we all sit down and enjoy this wonderful meal together.

But, as with each holiday, I cannot help but think of those people who are not able to celebrate it in such lavish fashion as I and many others are used to. For some, just finding a warm place to sleep with a hot meal is cause for a celebration.

It is for this reason that programs like Room at the Inn and the Salvation Army exist, but just the fact that they are trying to help does not at all erase the problem. The fact of the matter is that there are simply not enough resources to help everybody who is in need.

There is not enough food, nor are there monetary donations. There are not enough volunteers to distribute the donations that are received. The hungry children and the homeless grandparents are still there, still just surviving one day at a time. Even a small city like Marquette is home to many homeless people.

It is for this reason that I, along with my sorority, Kappa Beta Gamma, use this holiday season to give even just a little more. Our plans include ringing bells for the Salvation Army outside of stores to gather donations, donating canned food, and preparing boxes of essentials that a homeless person would need on a day-to-day basis.

I encourage everyone, instead of just dropping a can in the next convenient box down the hall, to make a generous donation. Find out which shelters are really in need and buy some for them. If you can’t afford that, donate your time to helping these organizations.

I feel that Thanksgiving and Christmas are not just another day to survive. They should be cause for celebrations for everybody and this is why I volunteer.

It is not just the homeless that need a little care during the holidays. There are people living on your very street that don’t have family or friends to celebrate with. Whether they’re elderly and in a nursing home or they live too far away from their loved ones or for whatever reason, they will be celebrating by themselves.

Sometimes, all they need to make it a good holiday is a smile or a kind word from you. Send holiday cards to everyone on your street. Invite your roommate to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family if they can’t make it home. Sing carols at the nursing homes.

Even though these may seem like small gestures, sometimes it is worth more than gold or riches not to feel so alone during the holidays.