Generosity should not be limited to the holiday season

Reaching out to those in need should not be an action determined by that happy holiday feeling


Abby Asimos

A pile of donated gifts sit under Ocean Lakes’ annual Angel Tree. Nov 28

As December arrives, generosity typically flourishes. Nearing the holiday season, hearing the tinkling of Christmas bells in the hand of Salvation Army workers becomes expected. Toy drives appear in full effect and commercials ask people to give back. Sure enough, with hearts full of gratitude post-Thanksgiving, donations start to pour into the hands of those in need. Unfortunately, holiday kind heartedness doesn’t make up for the other 11 months that a family or individual goes hungry, unclothed, and or homeless. Our generosity should not be limited by the holiday season, caring for others should be year round.

While it’s assumed that these individuals in need are generally appreciative of a warm meal, the reality is that a one time gift can only go so far. By the end of the day, they might have only had that one warm meal, donated gifts could be stolen, and they could still be sleeping outside in the cold.

Yes, these gestures are important and very much necessary, but this doesn’t change the fact that large issues cannot just be given a temporary fix. Even after a successful Christmas food drive, 6,000 plus homeless people in Virginia will need to continue their daily search for food, shelter, and safety.

Over this holiday season, if you’re donating to causes or volunteering your time, ask about what you can be doing throughout the year to be of help. Maybe join Key Club, volunteer to pack beach bags, or even donate your old clothes to thrifts stores. When giving to causes like shelters and food donations, remember to keep your less fortunate classmates and neighbors in mind. Their needs may not always be obvious, but they are still valid and very much real. Reaching out to those in need should not be an action determined by that happy holiday feeling. People struggle year-round; we should help year-round too.