‘Breezes’ Editorial Board: ‘Tis the Season of Giving Back by Helping Your Community

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‘Breezes’ Editorial Board: ‘Tis the Season of Giving Back by Helping Your Community

Alia Arellanes and Breezes Editorial Board

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As the days get snowier and the nights get colder, the time and help you can provide becomes more and more of a necessity for some. The winter season often brings joy to many homes, however, there are still many families that need a little extra help, especially during the holidays. The ‘Breezes’ Editorial board has put together a few ways that you can help spread some holiday cheer throughout your community.

Donations are a great way to give back, especially if you’re in a crunch for free time and have some extra funds. However, remember to do your research on a charity or cause before donating. A general rule of thumb is that donating to nonprofit organizations is the best way to ensure your donation is going directly to helping a cause. Breezes recommends three great Minnesota nonprofits: Sojourner Project, Refugee Resettlement, and Ka Joog Somali Organization.

Also feel free to sift through the nonprofits on the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits website, find a cause you’re passionate about, and consider making a donation.

Adopt A Family (ww.adoptafamilyangels.com) is another great, holiday-oriented program that assists families that need help buying their children Christmas presents. Many of us may have noticed boxes going around class that are collecting money for the cause, and a simple donation could significantly help families in need this season. For those looking to go further, you can ‘adopt a family’ and purchase toys for kids of families with financial restraints for the upcoming holidays.

Volunteer at a local shelter or soup kitchen. These places can always use more help, and it can be a very rewarding and direct way to help out. Often times, you’ll meet humble individuals that can teach you valuable life lessons. It’s important that we have a broader understanding about life outside of this oftentimes sheltered school. Some examples of the kind of hands-on volunteering are People Serving People, Open Arms of Minnesota, Animal Humane Society, and Bridge for Youth. Feel free to visit their websites to learn more about getting involved this season.

Alia Arellanes
Open Arms of Minnesota appreciates Breezes’ effort to encourage hands-on volunteering via Twitter.

On the other hand, if this social interaction doesn’t interest you, lots of students prefer to volunteer at places like Feed My Starving Children or ICA Food Shelf as well.

Clean Up a local park, trail, or lake shore that’s been littered with plastic debris. We all know how our massive carbon footprint is destroying the Earth, so let’s try to help out by becoming a part of the cleaning effort. This weekend, you should bundle up, grab some pals, and create some friendly competition to see who can collect the most trash.

Winter Coat Drives can especially help families in the icy northern states. A great way to ensure that no family is left out in the cold is by donating new or gently used coats, mittens, boots, and hats. Try to avoid donating winter coats to for-profit organizations such as Goodwill or Ragstock if you want to guarantee that your donation is going to be given to a family or individual in significant need. You can donate new coats for women, men, and children through People Serve People. Conveniently enough, you can buy and ship donations directly from any Target store. Just remember to ask an employee next time you do your weekly grocery shopping.