With the holiday season upon us, we often get caught up in the stress of what presents to buy for our friends and family members. However, we tend to forget about those who are less fortunate. Some people simply wish to have a hot meal during the bone chilling winter days. Children may attend a school where their peers receive lavish gifts yet others may just want a pair of snow boots. The world has evolved greatly for some, but others still need a helping hand. Together we can be the ones to help.
A quick and easy way to give back this holiday season is by donating money to the Salvation Army. There are often members located outside of stores throughout December. Otherwise, the Salvation Army website (that can be accessed here) offers free pick-ups for donations.
Another quick and easy option would be going through canned goods and donating any items that will not get used. The local food pantries are always in need of food, especially over the holiday season when they have many members who are simply looking to have a hearty meal over the holidays.
Humans are not the only ones in need of help this year. Animal shelters are always looking for donations. Whether it is a donation of money, food, or time all the animals, volunteers will be very happy to have the help. The shelters are always looking for blankets or towels to use as bedding for the animals. The furry friends at the animal shelters always need a little extra love.
A more hands on activity would be volunteering time at the soup kitchen. Students at Hollis Brookline High School are fortunate enough to have a soup kitchen located right in Nashua. The soup kitchen is another place that can always use an extra set of hands. Olivia Straka ‘16 has volunteered there in the past. She recalls that it was a wonderful experience and that she would be happy to go back and volunteer again. The people who come into the soup kitchens are very appreciative and seeing the smiles on their faces once they get a hot meal is a wonderful thing.
Here at Hollis Brookline, the students are aware of the needs of those who are less fortunate and are looking for ways to give back. Christiana Ellis, an adviser for the Homefront club, said that The Red Cross club and the Homefront club have teamed up to write letters to our soldiers who can not be home for the holidays. Our soldiers are sure to have a smile on their faces once they receive these letters.
At Hollis Brookline, we have seen some truly amazing things happen when everyone pitches in.
This year is no different. Located in the front office is a Giving Tree covered in small mittens. Each mitten has an item or two people are asking for over the holidays. These people can not afford to buy these items. When looking at the mittens, the most common thing you see people asking for are items we take for granted such as a sweatshirt or a bundle of socks. Such trees are common, especially in large shopping malls or stores.
Emily Babcock ‘16 said that her family participates in a giving tree at their church and she plans to participate here at the school as well. You have the ability to make someone’s day in four simple steps. Take a mitten off the tree, get the item, wrap it up and put it back under the tree.
Many people can use a helping hand this holiday season, the best part is your two hands can make a world of a difference.