by Chelsea McManus

Guest Blogger

Student at Salt Lake Community College

It’s about that time of the year when we are getting ready for the holidays. Shopping, family pictures, company parties, and planning our vacations all seem to occupy our minds. However, there is one more thing that we should add to our Holiday check list: volunteering!!

Currently, I am a student attending Salt Lake Community College and with Thanksgiving nearly around the corner, being in college has given me a chance to think of how blessed I am to have a job, attend school, have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on the table. There are many people out there who have nothing and need our help–around the holidays and also throughout the entire year.

As youth we sometimes feel that giving back to our community doesn’t apply to us because we have work, school and other social activities that take up our time.  We should try to make the time to serve others in our community.

While volunteering for several nonprofit organizations in the Salt Lake Valley I have learned many life lessons that will stay with me forever.  I have learned a lot about myself and have grown to love the people I have served over the years.  On one day in particular, I remember I was having a terrible day and I had signed up to volunteer at a nearby nursing home. Reluctant to go, I forced myself because I had already committed to it. As soon as I got there my attitude changed.  I was able to create special bonds with these patients and spend quality with them.  Most didn’t have family to visit them and felt abandoned and left alone. I couldn’t help but love every war story, card game, and sweet conversation we shared.  Just seeing the smile on their face was all I needed.

With so much negativity going on in the world today, why not be a light to those around you?  The only requirement to volunteer is just giving your time.  You never know who you are going to help! So, with the Holidays just around the corner, let’s show that our generation is grateful, add volunteering to our Holiday check list, and remember to be grateful for what we do have!

Happy Holidays!

Chelsea E. R. McManus