Service During Christmas

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Courtesy of Ursuline Academy Global Education Program

Courtesy of Ursuline Academy Global Education Program

Courtesy of Ursuline Academy Global Education Program

Hope C. '17, Inside Page Editor

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Christmas is the season of giving and receiving gifts, decorating the tree, and family. Many look forward to the holiday in the hopes of untying ribbon and tearing apart wrapping paper to uncover the many presents they put on their lists. Some believe that giving gifts is the most rewarding part of the season, but in the last four years the average American has spent over $800 on presents alone. Although spending money for gifts on others is a wonderful thing to do not everyone can afford to and you can’t always give everyone who is deserving a present. So how can you show your appreciation and care for others without a gift?

As Ursuline students we live and act by the motto of Serviam, so we are all familiar and accustomed to giving our time for members of our community, family, friends and more. Rather than breaking the bank each year for toys, clothes, etc., you can offer assistance to non-profit organizations or those in need as a way to get that same rewarding feeling you would have if you gave a present. There are a variety of organizations in need of volunteers during the Christmas season and it’s only a matter of contacting them to offer your assistance and make a difference in the community and in others’ lives.

I’m sure many of you notice the man or woman standing next to a red bucket while ringing a bell at the corner of the street or at the entrance of a store while going your Christmas shopping outings. Rather than donating the change at the bottom of your bag or the crumpled up dollar bills in the side of your wallet, you can sign up on the Salvation Army’s website to be one of the Red Kettle Bell Ringers. This tradition was started in 1891 by Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee in San Francisco and since then it has spread across the world and all of the proceeds go toward assisting over 4.5  million people during the holiday season.

If you would rather have a more direct service experience, SoupMobile will be celebrating their annual Celebrate Jesus Christmas Gala during December 23 through December 25. Each year over 500 homeless men, women and children are brought to the downtown Dallas Omni Hotel to experience an entertaining Christmas. In past years, SoupMobile has had over 2,500 volunteers to help make a memorable Christmas for the homeless. If you are interested in serving, go to SoupMobile’s website to sign up.

Ursuline Academy clubs are one of the easiest ways to get involved in serving your community. The Gift of Joy Club collects shampoo, deodorant, lotion, makeup, and other personal care items throughout the year to put in a shoe boxes that will be given to women and children who have left and are recovering from abusive relationships. Members of the club also collect shoeboxes and wrapping paper throughout the year and then one day they all get together to wrap the shoeboxes and fill them with the collected items. A few students and parents bring all the completed boxes to the shelter where the women stay and drop them off.

Giving to others during the holiday season is to some the best part of their Christmas experience, but many don’t know that there are other ways to give without spending money. Serving those in your community and helping the less fortunate can give you a new perspective on the Christmas season. No matter what you choose to do over the break, serving others can bring about the same joy you feel when you give a gift.

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