ISSUE 2: Winter Break Service Opportunities

Winter break is the perfect time to get some of your much needed service hours in.


Photo Anneka

The shelves of food pantries are being filled as the winter time approaches.

Anneka deVries, Staff Writer

 Service hours. Not only do we need them for school, but doing community service helps give back to the community, it is always a great feeling to know you helped make peoples lives a whole lot better, and with this two-week break headed our way, now is the perfect time to help out. Here are some service opportunities taking place during winter break:

  1. Humane Society of Tampa: The Humane Society of Tampa is an animal shelter that, especially during the chilly wintertime, needs help taking care of the animals. You can sign up for one of their many programs, including the long-term and short-term programs, there is even a fostering program if that is something you are able to do. These programs include set volunteer times in which you get to help maintain and care for a variety of different animals.
  2. Soup kitchens/food pantries: As the holidays roll around, soup kitchens and food pantries are desperate for people to help create Christmas meals for the homeless. There are many different locations popping up all over the place so all you have to do is look up ones near you. When you go, you will either help make, sort, package or hand out food for people who are currently going without.
  3.  Food drives: You can organize your own holiday food drive. This will earn you a lot of service hours since you have to have to plan the whole thing. Of course, you can’t just decide one day that you are going to spontaneously go to have a food drive that day. First, you have to contact a food pantry (or wherever you what to donate the food too) and plan with them when and how you are going to bring them the food. Next, you have to set a time and a place in which this event is going to be held. After that, you have to advertise it, tell your friends, then tell your friends to tell their friends, post it on social media, put up posters, do anything you can to get it out there. After that, make sure you have everything you need for the event, and finally, on a long-awaited day, it’s time to put all your preparation into action.
  4. Salvation Army: Everyone has seen people outside malls and other stores ringing a bell and asking others to donate. These donations go towards meals for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, and Christmas gifts for the kids who wouldn’t originally get any, and this year, you can be one of those people helping every kid get a Christmas. All you have to do is sign up, and you can change people’s lives.
  5. Ronald McDonald House: The Ronald McDonald House has countless service opportunities to help families that are currently in the hospital. You can do anything from making meals to providing entertainment for these poor families during the Christmas season. Not only are you achieving the service hours you need, but you are also helping to lift people’s spirits, which is especially needed during this time of year, which is supposed to be filled with joy for everyone, even the people who aren’t having the best luck.

Oftentimes, people really do want to help out, but don’t know how or where to start. Luckily for you, you have a list of many opportunities, so now you can go out and make a difference, you can help the community change for the better. Just by lending a little bit of your time, you can change a person’s life. So just think about that when you are sitting there, bored with nothing to do this break.