There is no right or wrong to helping others
From Black Friday shopping to filling up on sweets, the holiday season can bring out the “gimme-gimme” attitude. While some, including myself, are fortunate to wake up to a variety of presents under a lit-up Christmas tree or partake in a different holiday tradition, others are grateful for a warm meal on the table.
When relaxing in a warm home with the company of family and friends, be considered lucky—some as close as metro Detroit will be hungry and alone. This year, set aside time to think of others who may be less fortunate with one of the following ideas, or come up with a service on your own:
• Because there is always a high demand of blood to suffice the lives of the sick and injured, giving blood is the perfect way to help others. If one has never given blood, it is recommended to make an appointment. Approximately two hours of one’s time could save a life.
• While the digital age makes it easy to send someone a quick text, email or Facebook post, taking the time to write old-fashioned notes on holiday cards is meaningful and can make peoples’ day. Add a recent photo to make it more personal. Also, while making them, create a few extra and drop them off to a nursing home, hospital or hospice center for those without families. One can also contact their local American Red Cross for information about making cards for military, veterans and families in their community.
• Make days by delivering warm meals for those who are unable to get food themselves. Meals on Wheels is a great way to give back to the community. According to mowaa. org, “The tireless work of these programs—supported by a dedicated army of 2 million volunteers—delivers a nutritious meal, a warm smile and a safety check that helps keep 2.5 million seniors healthy, safe and living independently in their own homes each year.”
• Those who naturally cook delicious food, are proficient at cleaning, like to decorate or just want to help the less fortunate, working at a soup kitchen is an easy, thoughtful way to give back. Many churches and schools organize regular trips to local soup kitchens, and all members of the community are welcome to join Schoolcraft’s Phi Theta Kappa at St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen in Detroit every month.
• If unable to give time or physical work for others due to a crammed schedule, donating canned food or money to Gleaners Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan will feed someone in need. Gleaners distributed 41 million pounds of emergency food to more than 550 partner soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties last year, according to gcfb.org. One can also donate to Schoolcraft’s food pantry, located in the Lower Waterman of the VisTaTech Center.
• Humans are not the only ones that are cold and starving during winter. The greatest gift one can give to animals is a warm place to sleep and be loved. Join the In-Home Heroes Animal Foster Program to potentially save a life while simultaneously making a furry friend. There are several animals on the streets that suffer harsh living conditions year-round. Animal lovers over 14-years-old can also volunteer at the Michigan Humane Society directly by applying online.
Whether one helps by giving time, money or a shelter, helping those in need is crucial, especially during the holiday season. If one is feeling like they are unable to get involved because they do not have money to spare, giving time is sometimes the most valuable and humble gift. Similarly, one without time that has excess cash can help by donating to a worthy, reliable cause.
When opening presents on Christmas morning surrounded by family or friends, one needs to remember to be thankful for that they have rather than what they do not have. There are always people alone, starving and cold in every community during the holiday season.