Opportunities for volunteering are seemingly endless. Most charitable organizations have a need for volunteers. With so many options available, it’s easy to pick one that matches your skill set or a cause that’s near and dear to your heart. People often overlook one opportunity for helping out that is especially important this time of year: volunteering at a soup kitchen. With the holidays quickly approaching, soup kitchens need help.
I live in an area that has one of the busiest soup kitchens along the eastern seaboard. Since 2011, I have been donating food whenever the opportunity arises. I’m not in a position to donate as much or as lavishly as I’d like, but I contribute to the best of my ability.
My mother helped me develop my spirit of volunteering. She encouraged us kids to get involved and make a difference whenever and wherever we could. This motivation that has stuck with us all. My sister has been volunteering at a soup kitchen during the holidays for as long as I can remember. Like family meals or hanging stockings, volunterring has become a holiday tradition for her.
The rewards of volunteering go beyond helping people through difficult times. Many people underestimate the strong feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction that come with helping out. If you’ve never gotten involved with charity work, I highly recommend that you give it a try. You can’t imagine how good it feels to be of assistance to others until you try. I promise, you’ll feel like a million bucks and wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner.
Not sure where to begin? That’s easy. Simply look around you. In today’s economy, very few areas are without a soup kitchen or food-sharing program. You can go online, check the Sunday edition of your local paper, or look in the phone book to find a location nearby. These organizations promote a strong sense of community that I think is especially important in this day and age. They are a vital part of ensuring that people have access to healthy foods.
A Family Affair
Teaching kids that giving back is important and volunteering together at a soup kitchen are great ways to drive that idea home. Children are not only welcome to volunteer—the recipients of their efforts greatly appreciate the help! If you hadn’t looked at it this way before, consider this a golden opportunity for teaching them about the importance of giving and sharing.
How do you help out in your community? We’d love to know the different ways in which you and your family give back.
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