The importance of giving back

Donating during the holiday season helps those struggling within our society


Graphic by Paige Hightower

The many ways you can give back to your community.

Paige Hightower, Staff Reporter

According to the Federal Safety Net, 37.9 million people in the United States are affected by food insecurity and poverty every day. As inflation increases, it becomes increasingly difficult for those affected to escape poverty, and may even be pushed back into it. This makes it important for individuals who are more fortunate to donate to local organizations whose main goal is to be the change. Whether you decide to donate time, goods or money, any small donation will have a great impact and work towards removing poverty, homelessness and food insecurity from society. 

As the holiday season nears, it is more important to donate to nonprofits to ensure that no one goes without food and shelter. The Salvation Army puts out its notable red kettles during this season, and whether you donate some change or even a few dollars, everything has an impact. According to the Open Door Mission, a donation as small as $2.15 is enough to shelter, feed and care for those in need. Similarly, the Food Bank for the Heartland is able to provide 4 meals with a donation of just $1. 

If money is not something that you want to donate, there are plenty of other ways to help. Many places like the Food Bank for the Heartland and the Open Door Mission offer small time slots for people willing to volunteer to sign up. You can find more information on your desired nonprofit’s website and also submit your application. Volunteers can help sort the goods that were donated and package them into appropriate portions. Take time one day during the season to not only care for your family, but to also give some attention and care for the others in your community that don’t have that privilege. 

You can also donate personal belongings that may not serve a purpose to you anymore. According to Global Green Clothing, the average person throws out 70 pounds of clothing every year. Instead of throwing out old clothes to replace them with new ones, donate them to nonprofits or give them to friends and family who may use them more than you. Not only does this benefit you, but it also helps numerous people in your community. 

People aren’t the only ones that need some extra care and attention during this time. Just last year, the Humane Society received 12,297 dogs and cats from the public. There are many ways to help these animals. Volunteer hours are available, you can sign up for many roles. From helping return lost animals to their homes to preparing animals for surgery, there is a job for everyone. Of course, there are other ways to help too; monetary donations are also accepted as well as donations of food and toys. Helping these animals gives them a better chance of getting adopted and in caring families. 

These organizations rely on us and our donations. This makes it crucial that people understand what others are going through, especially during this time, and try to make an effort to make their lives better.