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Giving back this festive season

By | December 21st 2011

By Renee Mboya

If one thing is true of campus, it’s that while you’re there, it’s easy to forget that there are people out there, people who as well as having significantly fewer advantages than you do, are out in the cold without food or shelter. While you’re at home this holiday, think of the ways in which you can help those who are less fortunate than yourself and spread the holiday cheer.


Sometimes we overlook people in need just because they don’t look particularly needy. Find out which of your colleagues on campus are not going home for the holidays and do your best to include them in your activities with your family and friends. No matter where they’re from, everyone likes to feel grounded towards the end of the year when their whole life is being called to account and they’re under pressure to make plans for an unknown future. Reach out to someone. You never know. It might be a move that will benefit you for a long time after college is done.

Visit a children’s home/Love makes a family

Everyone needs a role model. This holiday, for some forlorn child out there, that could be you. Remember that the dreams and ambitions you have for yourself only came about because you were lucky enough to have people around you that encouraged you to believe in yourself. Make an effort to spend time with children who quite likely have never had the opportunity to imagine life beyond their present state. Even if you’re not good with kids even just showing up will let them know that someone values their existence.


It’s very likely that your local religious or community centre is running a food drive this season for the less fortunate. So why not find out how you can volunteer? Contact the activities director at your local hospice or nursing home and see if you can help with any upcoming activities. More often than not, caregivers are desperately overwhelmed by their duties and you’d be surprised at how appreciative they’d be of the help.

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Donate clothes you no longer use

Like they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. During Christmas time, when you’re looking for something to wear, but three suitcases and a closet full of clothes offer no solutions, think about those who have absolutely no options. Sort out your clothes and make sure they are actually wearable before you give them away. Send clothes that need repair first and make sure you haven’t overlooked anyone close to you before you send a care package to organised groups with a largely anonymous patronage.

Donate Blood

This is simple but life-saving donation. During the festive season as people travel back and forth to be with their families this is one thing we can’t afford to take for granted. Given the seasonal spike in traffic accidents, this is one donation you’re guaranteed will change, or even save someone’s life. Rally your friends and do this as a group. An off campus blood drive no matter how small will go a long way this holiday and as a bonus, it will look good on your CV.

When all is said and done life only has as much value as the impact you are willing to make in other people’s lives. While you have the time this holiday season and everyone is rallying to join their loved ones take the time to offer the opportunities you’ve had in your life to someone else. Happy holidays.

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