Good will blossoms this season, but needed all year long
Anna Domenico, the director of the Volunteer Clearing House at CU, hearkens to a saying by famed cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead to encourage students to make a difference as Thanksgiving approaches.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has,” Mead once said.
Thanksgiving is a time not only for people to give thanks for their blessings but also to make a difference on that small level Mead was referring to. There are a number of ways for students to make a difference, Domenico said.
Community Food Share is an organization committed to making a difference in the lives of hungry families and children in the Boulder and Broomfield communities. The organization estimates that Boulder and Broomfield have more than 30,000 residents living below poverty level.
Food Share is currently looking for volunteers to greet shoppers and remind them to donate at their local grocery store. The “Bag Hunger” program is good for families with young children and youth-oriented groups. Food Share is also looking for people willing to conduct independent food drives, sorters and drivers to pick up donations.
To volunteer, contact Sue Ericson at Community Food Share.
The Emergency Family Assistance Association also needs volunteers to assemble holiday food baskets to donate to families in need this month. Students can volunteer between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. this Wednesday. Visit www.efaa.org for more information and future volunteer activities.
Another organization seeking volunteers is The Carriage House, a daytime resource center for the homeless. They are seeking volunteers to mentor clients and assist with administrative duties.
“The Carriage House is cool because it offers programs to help the homeless get jobs as well as physical amenities such as showers and toiletries,” said junior architecture major Jennifer Payne.
The Salvation Army also hosts a variety of volunteer activities for this week. They are looking for servers and cooks to work Thanksgiving Day at the Colorado Convention Center. Volunteers are needed at senior and family housing programs, and as drivers to pick up food, toys, and clothes. Contact Mary Orem at email@example.com.
You can join Frasier Meadows Health Care Center residents for Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 23. Senior citizens love the company and conversation college students provide. Contact Starr Wiginton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of these volunteer agencies get a rush of calls during holiday season, but are in dire need of help year round.
“One of the best things people can do is hold onto all of that good will and remember it in the springtime when most people aren’t thinking of donating food or volunteering at shelters,” Domenico said.
For more year-round volunteer opportunities, stop by the Volunteer Clearing House office in room 356 at the UMC.