LIfestyle: Holiday Volunteer Guide

November 26, 2014

At school, I do social media and blog post creation for the student involvement office. Unintentionally, our focus this month has been philanthropy. Last week, I did a post about homelessness on campus and what options and resources students have if they're in a situation like that. This week, I wrote a piece about why volunteering is important not only for you, but for the lives of those that you help. I thought I'd share it on my blog here as well, and instead of giving local volunteer options, I'll give you places to donate online and in person nationally.
A man loses his apartment in a snowstorm, a women is homeless after 15 years of domestic abuse, a family is hungry, homeless, and cold… These are all terrible situations to be in, especially on a holiday such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah. You can only really enjoy the holidays, or anything, if you have your feet on the ground. Volunteering your time, money, or resources at one of the many shelter in this area can change one of those stories into one of hopelessness into one of change for the better. Instead of hearing about a man who is laid off and homeless, you can of a man who thanks to the kind smiles of strangers gains the confidence to go back on the job market and land himself a job.
That’s the thing about paying it forward, a little goes a long way.
“I’m happy here. It’s given me a lot of independence and the time to take care of my health. My room is new and clean. I even have a few good friends. Lately I’ve been going into Boston a lot to visit the Museum of Natural History. I’m also studying psychology and different languages. I still have a lot of challenges, but being stable is what will help me get through them.”  - A Happy LifeBridge in Salem Client
With packed shelters and kitchens around the holidays, they need your help more than ever. Strong leaders are selfless, humble, and giving. As Salem State prepares you for a career academically, it also prepares you to be a leader. Volunteering can enrich your education, values, and overall college experience. This holiday, take a step back, give thanks, and give back.

Here’s a list of places and ways to give back this holiday:

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