Service opportunities abound during the holiday season


During the holiday season, many students in the McNicholas community are looking for ways to give back and help others. While the Salvation Army and local food kitchens are always great options, here are some unique suggestions for service work during Christmas time:

Through the USPS Operation Santa program, is a service that allows people to grant the Christmas wishes of needy children. By visiting the foundation’s website, interested students can use the USPS National Directory to find local participating post offices. At the participating post offices, there are collections of letters to Santa to choose from. Simply pick one of the letters, purchase the gift for the child, and return it to the post office. This is a creative way to give back, and will have a huge impact on the children’s Christmas.

Beech Acres’ “Shop and Share” Event

This year, Beech Acres has reached out to McNick for help with its annual Christmas event. In the past few weeks Beech Acres has raised money and bought gifts for needy children, and it now needs help wrapping and distributing the presents. Interested students can sign up by Director of Admissions and enrollment Christy Berning  office to volunteer on Tuesday, Dec. 11 and/or Thursday, Dec. 13. On Dec. 11 volunteers will be sorting the gifts, and on Thursday they will be moving gifts to various B.A. program coordination offices.

There will also be numerous wrapping parties, which are open to any interested community members. Beech Acres asks that volunteers bring scissors to help cut wrapping paper, and is willing to accept any extra donations. The remaining wrapping party dates are as follows: Friday, Dec. 5 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday, Dec. 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN)

Throughout December, IHN is asking volunteers to help create and deliver meals to needy families and spend time with the families after the delivery. A Christmas meal is an important symbol of the holidays for many people, and providing this opportunity for a family in need is a great service idea.

From now until Dec. 20, IHN will also be accepting gifts for their Holiday Giving Drive. A If interested, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Betsy Wones at 471-1100 or email .

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul is a popular service choice for many McNick students, and during the holidays the organization offers even more service opportunities. Up until Thursday, Dec. 20, St. Vincent de Paul is collecting and preparing Christmas food baskets. On the 20th, volunteers are encouraged to help with distribution of the baskets, which will contain holiday meal ingredients. On Friday, Dec. 21, the foundation will host its Holiday Hearts Luncheon for single or elderly people without families. Located at 1125 Bank Street, the event will offer a Christmas meal, carols, and a small gift for all the guests. Volunteers are need during the event and for the set-up on Dec. 20.

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