During the holiday season, many people feel generous and are more inclined to give back to their community. As the holiday season comes to a close, however, this sense of helpfulness and charity sometimes seems to fade away.
Marian girls are known for volunteering their time at homeless shelters, food drives, Operation Others events and other various charities during the holiday season.
Freshman Elizabeth Foreman said, “It’s good that we focus on giving during the holiday season, but generosity shouldn’t just be a winter thing. People are in need year round, so we must give year round.”
To junior Katie Corpuz, it’s important to differentiate between serving in and out of the holiday season. “Serving others all year round is necessary. I think it’s also important to let the less fortunate people know that they are loved and deserve to be cared for. Many of them have fond memories of the holidays, and now with the current position they hold, it can be hard to remember those things,” she said.
“By bringing food or gifts to them, it can remind them of the good things in life and the kind people that have made their life special,” Corpuz said.
Candace Gregory, the President and CEO of the Open Door Mission in Omaha, said, “Seasons change but hunger remains. It is true that the holidays bring out the best in people. Some nonprofits may see this as a challenge to engage people year-round. Our team strives to make opportunities fulfilling for individuals, families and groups to make a difference with their valuable time.”
According to the Open Door Mission, approximately 2,000 people are homeless in Omaha every night and the average age of a homeless person is 9 years old. These numbers don’t decline after the holiday season ends.
“A gift of only $2.15 can feed a hungry person. So, it’s easy to make a difference,” Gregory said.
No matter what time of the year it is, helping out the less fortunate can make a tremendous impact.
Lisa O’Neill, a freelance writer whose work focuses on popular culture, politics and social justice issues, said, “After ‘the season of giving,’ people lost sight of the reality that people in their community were in need of continued support.”
According to Causes.com, the largest online platform for social activism, donation amounts to charitable organizations increase by 42 percent during November and December compared to other months throughout the year.
There are simple ways for one to get involved throughout the year. Donating money regularly, even small amounts like $5, connecting with people or organizations one wants to support and contributing locally are a few ways someone can help out their community.
“There are so many ways to serve and make a positive impact on our local community. People are out there who need our help, the least we can do is lend a hand,” Corpuz said.