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‘Tis the Season of Giving

November 26, 2012

Outside of the local supermarket, a man rings a bell next to a red tin. He stands by a sign that reads “Doing The Most Good”. While volunteering is a year-round activity, the holiday season brings out an extra desire to spread good cheer.

Every contribution can make a difference, from the volunteers who decorate donation bins to the person that drops a can at the bin in his office.

International organizations like The Salvation Army rely heavily on volunteers to support its programs. According to The Salvation Army USA, volunteers are “the army behind The Army” and are key to providing quality social services for the community.

From The Salvation Army’s Annual Report, over 29 million people were assisted last year, and 14 percent were helped through holiday assistance.  With data since 2003, volunteering during the holiday season remains a high percentage of The Salvation Army’s projects.

Another local organization, Santa Clara University, offers students and alumni opportunities to volunteer. The school partners with local nonprofits in an effort to “transform the world”. In an email from Santa Clara University’s Alumni Association, former students are reminded to honor the season of giving. “As you begin to celebrate the holiday season, consider volunteering in your community. Join one of our Alumni for Others (AFO) volunteering projects and give the gift of yourself this season.”

November through January is often known as the season of giving, evident by the actions and results of organizations and volunteers. Nonprofit organizations, individual and group volunteers, money donations, company programs, and food donations are some of the things that make the wintertime such a charitable time of the year.

Above all, volunteering is not limited. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations. Whether one’s passion lies in education, employment, animals, or another, there is likely a group for everyone’s interests. A great way to pay it forward is to volunteer by doing something you love.

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities provided by local organizations.
Here are a few upcoming events:

– 11/29: Feeding the Hungry (Centerville Presbyterian Church, Fremont)

– 12/5: Food Sort (Sunnyvale Community Services, Sunnyvale)

– 12/14 – 12/25: Peninsula Holiday Project at Nursing Homes (VA, Menlo Park)

– 12/16: Holiday of Wishes (Old Golfsmith Store, Fremont)

– 12/20: The Family Giving Tree (Former HP Facility, Cupertino)

– 12/29: Serve Lunch Saturday (Slide, San Francisco)

– 1/25: Serve a Hot, Nutritious Meal (Loaves & Fishes, San Jose)

Other local opportunities:

– Toys for Tots Drop-Off Bins (Various Locations)

– Tri-City Free Breakfast Program (Fremont)

– Tri-City Volunteers Food Bank (Fremont)

– Wish Grantor (Make-A-Wish Foundation Greater Bay Area)

– Meals on Wheels Driver (LIFE ElderCare, Inc., Various Locations)

‘Tis the Season of Giving.

<UPDATE> Published on the Front Cover of Flipside Times!
'Tis the Season of Giving (Flipside Times, November 2012)

<UPDATE> My company is having an Adopt-A-Family fundraiser, and they are matching our donations. Prepared these for our bake sale today! Cinnamon streusels and lemon bars. 🙂 Yummy.

Baked Goods

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