16th Dec2013

The Season of Giving

by Oregon HOSA

When I think of the holidays, I think of family traditions, brisk winter days, and hot cups of cocoa. I also think of the many community service opportunities available for participation. The holidays are known as the Season of Giving, and your time can be the most valuable gift of all.

Here are four ways to give back to your community during the holidays:

1. Many schools or communities sponsor “giving trees” such as Adopt-A-Family, where you can pick a family in need and buy them presents and other necessities. A great way to spread the cost of the gifts is to share a family with your HOSA chapter, and have each member bring in one or two items for the family in need.

2. Visit a nursing home in your town. Many seniors do not get visitors, and it will brighten their day considerably if you pop in to visit and wish them Happy Holidays. Alternative to a chat: organize a caroling group and sing holiday songs for seniors.

3. Make care kits and hand them out to the homeless. The Portland Rescue Mission recommends giving care kits to the homeless instead of money. Care kits contain items such as a water bottle, socks, granola bars, chap sick, and Band Aids. To learn more about care kits, visit www.portlandrescuemission.org/get-involved/pack-a-care-kit/

4. Find an animal shelter to volunteer at, or collect items such as blankets to donate to the shelter. You can contact your local animal shelter to find out what they may need during the holiday season.

The season of giving does not mean the season of spending money. Giving your time, smiles, and commitment can make more of an impact than a donation!

By Tessa Ekstrom

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