Interactive Marketing Director
I love the holiday season. From early November to the ringing in of the New Year, it has been so much fun to see how willing people are to give back and invest time in their community. For the last few months I’ve been helping with UWSL’s volunteer initiatives. It has been awesome getting to know the different agencies and individuals who are really devoted to our community. Schools, youth groups, food pantries, companies, organizations… everyone has been doing their part to lend a hand, ring a bell, become a “secret santa,” donate winter clothes and boots, and cook a warm meal. Isn’t it the love and generosity of friends, family, and strangers that make this the most wonderful time of the year!?
January 1 always makes me a little sad. The party is over, and people are all going back to work. In less than a month the holiday season and all that good will becomes a distant memory. But it doesn’t need to be that way! I know that everyone is busy. However, if you can find time during the busiest holiday season to spend some time spreading good cheer, then maybe setting aside a little time each month and staying involved in our community is possible. The food pantries were swamped in December with donations and volunteers. But in January people forget that there are still people who need a warm meal. Maybe each month you could plan to help with providing or serving one meal. Many kids were able to have a great holiday because of the generosity of others. But in February those same kids could really use an adult to read with them, or mentor them. Can you spare one hour to read, or one hour to help at an after school program?
There are so many things you can do and it can be really fun! I am a “big sister” to a 16 year old girl. She has started to be interested in volunteering but she is not sure what she would enjoy doing. So I told her that each month we would try something new. One month we are going to go read to some kids, the next month we are going to volunteer at UWSL’s Pal Boxing center, and who knows what else we will come up with! I’m proud of her for wanting to get involved, and it challenges me to be a good example of giving back to our community.
If you need help getting started here are some ideas:
– Become a Mentor, Tutor, or Reader (www.uw.org/volunteer)
– Search for Volunteer Opportunities
– Learn more about United Way of Salt Lake Neighborhood Centers
– Volunteer with United Way of Salt Lake
Let’s make 2012 a great year!