Monday, November 26, 2012

A Goal to Give Back

The Thanksgiving holiday is always a good time to reflect and give thanks for what we have. With this year's break I've had the opportunity to do just that. I've been thinking lately on how very fortunate I am. Even though school is tough, money sometimes tight and the weather is frigid, I'm especially grateful for what I have and to be gaining a higher education here at Utah State University. With the holiday season in the near future, this is not a time to be greedy with our mounds of food and piles of presents. It is a time to reflect on all that we have been given and in thanks, give a little back.

Forbes Magazine recently compiled a list of what they thought were the top-ranking charities. As I thought about all the good that these charities are doing for the world, I couldn't help but be inspired and want to help in some small way. However, as college students, money is not always abundant and time can be scarce, which makes service a bit difficult. Yet, there are still a number of ways that students can give without becoming charity cases themselves. USA Today’s College site posted about “Givingback on a student’s budget.” This story lists a number of ways that students can donate what little time and/or resources they have to help others. A few of the organizations mentioned were:

CompassionPit: This site is a place where people can go to talk anonymously to a stranger about their troubles. The people on this site are often simply looking for a listening ear as they may be having a rough day or have a problem that you may be able to relate with and offer some advice. This website is a simple, but effective way for students to help those who may need it.

Free Kibble: With this organization students are not only helping hungry animals, but they are also giving their own brains a workout. Free Kibble offers 10 pieces of Kibble to hungry animals with every trivia question that you answer. This is another easy way to help.

Call to Protect: This organization allows people to donate their old cell phones in order to protect against domestic violence. The donated phones are cleaned up and resold. The profits gained are then donated to organizations working to end domestic violence.

Students can also find a number of places to help out locally such as donating clothes to Deseret Industries and other organizations,  volunteering for an afternoon at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter, and even visiting with people in a hospital or rest home. A number of other volunteering opportunities in Utah can be found here.

As students, we are so very blessed to be at this great institution gaining an education. With all that we have, let’s find time to give back this holiday season.   

- Allie Jeppson