Not just a holiday effort

Discussing the importance of volunteering at all times of the year

Claire Boughton / Senior Sports Reporter

Volunteering around the holidays is a great thing to do. When you are spending time with your family and friends during the holiday season, it’s important to remember that not everyone has all those people in their life. It really means a lot to people if they see you volunteering when there are so many other things you could be doing.

If volunteering isn’t your thing or you don’t want to do it alone, you can also bring your family or friends along to make it into a group activity. Instead of sitting at home watching a Christmas movie, you could make somebody’s Christmas wishes come true. The Equinox believes that this spirit of bringing light to others’ lives is at the very core of the holiday season.

It also doesn’t even have to be volunteer work specifically, especially if you don’t have the time. It could be as simple as donating clothes, food, toys or simply anything that would be more needed by somebody else. There are always plenty of places holding food drives, accepting clothing donations or participating in Toys for Tots. While you may not get to see the faces of the people you’re helping by donating, you should remember that you are making this holiday just as special for them as it is for you.

However, it’s also important to not forget about volunteering throughout the rest of the year. During the holiday season shelters and soup kitchens will see an increase in people volunteering. Then, after the holiday season, the number of volunteers will drop off. Just because it’s no longer the “season of giving” doesn’t mean the need for volunteers has stopped.

A concerning statistic is that, according to data compiled on HandsOn Connect, projects saw a 42 percent increase in volunteers last year over the holiday season compared to the rest of the year. This increase means that while there are plenty of volunteers during the holiday season, there is a struggle throughout the rest of the year.

Due to this, we strongly encourage that people who may volunteer during the holidays also do it whenever they can at other times. For anybody who may not volunteer, we say give it a try because you may genuinely enjoy helping your community. At the end of the day, however, volunteering is volunteering, and you should be proud of any positive difference you can make in someone’s life. Some local places where you could volunteer include Monadnock RSVP Volunteer Center, Casa of New Hampshire and Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire.

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