Donate Your Time This Christmas: Giving Back in Non-Monetary Ways

by The Cowl Editor on December 6, 2018


Volunteer at local soup kitchens this holiday season, such as the Amos House soup kitchen in Providence. Photo courtesy of


by Katherine Belbusti ’22

Opinion Staff

There is something about the Christmas season that puts so many people in a good mood.

With the exception of the occasional scrooge, the holiday season brings out the best in a lot of us. Specifically, the holiday season sparks an overwhelming urge to give back and do good.

The issue, or rather setback, is selecting the best way to give back. The easy option for some seems to be money or presents; the simple way out  is to donate $20 and call it a day.

That is not to say that that money will not go towards something good, because it definitely will. For example, in some of the dorms on campus at Providence College, there is the Adopt a Family program which asks that you donate any sum of money that will then go towards purchasing necessities for a family in need.

In addition, starting right before Thanksgiving, the dorms put boxes in the lobby courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse, as part of Operation Christmas Child to buy and donate items such as toys and clothes from a provided list.

While PC provides us with ways to give back this holiday season, many of them are monetary.

Unfortunately, that is pretty much the only thing college students do not have a lot of: money. However, there are other ways to give back during the holiday season.

Donate your time instead of your money. It often means more to shelters to have volunteers working hands-on, especially when it comes to working with children.

Time is scarce during finals season, but after your finals are over and you are back home, spend some time volunteering in your community. You might be surprised how rewarding it feels.

If you wish to donate time, you can also organize collection drives. Organizations always need volunteers who are able to collect and organize others who wish to help and give back.

Although giving back centers around giving, there are other ways to do good for those around you, especially during the holiday season.

Smile at the strangers walking past you. Give the person who looks like they are having a bad day a hug. While these things sound cheesy and like they might not help, that is not the case. Everyone wants to feel needed, and by doing these little things, you show that you care.

Any way that that you give back this holiday season is better than the alternative, which would be to do nothing at all. There is so much to gain from giving back.

Though this might sound a little ironic, giving back during the holiday season benefits both parties. As nice as it is to receive during the Christmas season, it is even more rewarding to give.

The holidays are an especially emotional time for most. Perhaps it is because of the stress of buying gifts or maybe it reminds one of the loss of a loved one. Regardless, any opportunity to help stay in that wonderful holiday spirit is worth it. After all, it is called the most wonderful time of the year for a reason.