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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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The importance of giving back during the holidays

The+importance+of+giving+back+during+the+holidays
Carmen Brito

During the holidays, families all over the world gather around the fireplace and enjoy delicious food in the comfort of their homes. Not many are thinking about anything beyond getting ready for festivities and spending time with their loved ones. However, some do not have the luxury to enjoy a huge feast and their holiday experience can be more stressful than leisurely.

Studies from the Capital Area Food Bank have shown that over one million DC locals are facing food insecurity this holiday season. The pandemic has left many citizens struggling to recover from the economic damage COVID-19 caused. This is when giving back during the holidays becomes most important. 

Giving can come in many forms, such as donations, fundraising, and helping your neighbors. However, one of the most important ways to give back for me is through volunteering. Volunteering does not necessarily come to mind to students in their hectic daily lives, let alone during the holidays. But just a simple act of giving during the holidays can impact the community profoundly. Whether you spend one hour or an entire day volunteering, there is no better way to live up to the meaning of the holiday season, which is to spread love all around.

From my point of view, the act of giving can bring people closer to their community, even with those you don’t know. Recently, I spent some time volunteering at Martha’s Table. In the four hours I volunteered, I wasn’t thinking about how cold or tired I was, but only about the comforting happiness of seeing people leave with abundant grocery bags in their hands. Just being able to share that joy with those who may not have as much is a rewarding experience in itself.

Volunteering has immensely changed my perspective and connections to other people. Since non-profit organizations serve many without qualifications of background, religion, sex, age or gender, you are given the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, each offering a unique perspective to expand your understanding of the world. Also, anyone can volunteer! There is no better use of time over winter break than giving back to others. 

If you truly want to celebrate the spirit of the holidays this winter, then why not give what you can to the best of our capabilities? Ultimately, there is always more to gain than to lose. While you don’t have to dedicate yourself to volunteering every day, always know that your contributions matter, regardless of how large or small they are. After all, holidays are all about growing the love in our community and no gift can compare to knowing you have made a difference to those around you.

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