Whether you splurged on yourself, splurged on others or didn’t get more than a hug, the holidays are a time to reflect on what you do have not on what you didn’t get. It’s also a time where we do tend to focus on what we don’t have despite our best efforts not to. The end of the year, for most people, is a time to take stock of their lives but this is a kind reminder that no matter how little you have, you probably have at least a little bit more than somebody else.
On a college budget or schedule, it’s not easy to give back or volunteer your time to help out the less fortunate but there are simple things you can do that won’t take any time and can really help out others in need.
Donate Clothing. Especially winter coats. Could you imagine being homeless during winter? The number of homeless teens is growing, so this isn’t an issue of helping out someone who you might consider a wanderer or addict (still, why not help those people stay warm too?). There are young people, out there, just like you who had to uproot their lives for a number of reasons, whether that is poverty, abuse, trans or homophobia, there are unlimited reasons people end up on the streets and let’s face it, all too often these people end up freezing to death.
Donating clothing is easy, since there are conveniently located bins and charity shops in every town and city.
Buy A Homeless Person A Coffee … and a donut. Most people will not pass up a coffee and a donut. It’s warm, filling and anyone who doesn’t know when their next meal is coming will welcome the fat and sugar of a donut. Use your discretion, of course. When I was in high school, the debate team would get all this extra Dominos pizza. We would try to give it to the homeless but some would turn us down. Move onto the next person. You could really make someone’s day.
Donate Blood or Bone Marrow. You could save someone’s life and it won’t cost you a thing. Think about that. You could be the reason someone lives. Here’s how.
Donate Your Old Prom Dress. The PrincessProject.org donates prom dresses and accessories to those who cannot afford them. Prom is totally cheesy but it’s just one of those coming-of-age moments that no one (who wants to go) should have to miss out on because of something as stupid as money.
Last but not least, just say ‘yes’ to helping someone. The next time someone asks you for help, just say yes. Don’t huff and puff about it, whether it’s your mom or weird uncle, just help. Unless, they want you to help them destroy the Earth, in which case politely decline.