Giving back during the holidays

Kathleen Keaveny

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When the holidays roll around, many people become consumed with the stress of finding perfect gifts for their loved ones, the money to purchase them and whether or not a significant other will pick out the ideal gift for you. In times like these, we can often be blinded to the needs of other by our preparations for the holidays. Here are some ways that you can be involved with and help your community during the holidays:

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Feeding those in need

Holiday celebrations are, more often than not, celebrated around food. Unfortunately, there are many who do not have the luxury of a Christmas dinner spread. Helping those who might go hungry these holidays is an important and rewarding opportunity.  Whether this be at a food kitchen or collecting food to donate, it is a great way to become involved within you community.

The FoCo Cafe is a great way to become more involved in Fort Collins. The FoCo Cafe  “provides nutritious and delicious meals to the people of Fort Collins, regardless of their ability to pay.” You can help by volunteering your time or by making donations when you come in to enjoy a meal.

If you are not staying in Fort Collins during the holidays, there are food kitchens and other food collection programs that work to feed the community.

Give thanks

Although we should be appreciative for those who serve our community year round, the holidays offer an opportunity to reach out and show gratitude.

It can be simply writing a thank you letter to your mailman, those who collect our garbage or the local fire and police departments. The men and women who work to improve our community and keep it running make daily efforts to better our lives. They deserve something as simple as a thank you note or a little holiday gift.

Giving to local children’s hospitals

Unfortunately, there are many children and families who do not get to spend their holidays in the comfort of their own homes and instead in a hospital bed. If you are from Colorado, you and your family can help brighten the holidays for children in hospitals through the Children’s Colorado Hospital Foundation by donating gifts, money or time.

If you are an out-of-stater, there are other children’s hospitals in your city or state where you can help make a difference in someone else’s holiday season.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to serve your community in a variety of ways. If anything, you can donate a few dollars, or some of your time. Some organizations to keep in mind are the American Red Cross, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity.

In a time where many of us spend our holidays in abundance, it is important to be reminded that others may not be as privileged as some of us. It is important to spend time with family and friends by striving to benefit your community and spread a little cheer.

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Collegian Interactive News Team member Kathleen Keaveny can be reached at socialmedia@collegian.com or on Twitter @katkeaveny.