Giving back during the holidays


Jerin Alam

ROTC Members boxing cans from the can drive.

The holidays are often filled with joy and giving. People give back to their communities during the holidays because that’s what the holiday spirit is all about.

“Others believe that they need to extend their generosity and make it possible for others to have the same kind of winter as the giver,” Tara Sandlin (10) said. “While it is good that these people want to help others, ideally everyone would want to be generous throughout the whole year.”

The idea of giving back, especially during a time where families come together to celebrate, is very important. Sandlin distributes clothes, food and other essentials with her mother at their church. Usually, 200-300 people benefit from this, and it gives her a sense of fulfillment when giving back.

Anthony Madubuonwu (11) is organizing a junior class project where students can sign up to wrap toys for underserved kids.

“Giving back means using the means and resources you have been granted to provide those same means to people who aren’t privileged enough to have them,” Madubuonwu said.

The ROTC program is hosting a canned food drive where all of the cans collected go to the Mid-South Food Bank. In addition, the Memphis Grizzlies are hosting their annual Holiday Toy Drive, presented by Sonic Drive-Ins, that benefits Toys for Tots and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Volunteers working with the Salvation Army stand outside of grocery stores in the cold weather for almost the whole day to collect money. Many families also follow traditions where they volunteer at homeless shelters or their local churches.

Although the holidays have a recurring theme of generosity, there are people who decide not to become involved with charitable events.

“Many people likely think that enough is already being done for people with needs in the community,” Sandlin said.  “And unfortunately, other people believe that some recipients of help take advantage of those helping them instead of seeing that the majority of recipients do not.” These acts of kindness benefit many people, and they are able to get through the holidays knowing that they are cared for and looked after in society.     Not only should people give back during the holidays, but also throughout the year. Everyone deserves to have the positive experiences the fortunate can experience.