BY RYA WALFORD
With the holiday season quickly approaching, many charities are revving up for their annual fundraising campaigns.
It’s well known that a majority of students are “broke,” depending on loans, OSAP and credit cards to get by. So how can students get involved in charity?
“When I hear charity, automatically I think money, money I don’t have,” says Venes Zukic, a Sheridan College student. “I try to always give that extra dollar a cashier asks for, buy up a few smile cookies when I go to Tim Hortons, or give the guy on the corner whatever’s in my pocket. I know it’s not a lot, but I feel like it’s something small I can do to help.”
It’s true that charities are always looking for monetary donations, but often people forget they need volunteers too. Sometimes, a person’s time and skills will make a bigger difference than a few dollars.
“If students have a skill set, they can go to an organization and offer their services to them for free. Donating what students do have, time and skills, is a good start,” says Eric Johnson a recent University of Windsor graduate.
Johnson graduated from the kinesiology program last year. He decided to fulfill his desire to give back to his community by putting the knowledge he gained while in school to use.
“When I was in Windsor I offered the Alzheimer’s Society two free exercise sessions to individuals having a tough time. It still felt good even though I was broke.”
For Charlotte Foster, a Lakehead University student, the holidays call for even more kindness and generosity than any other time of year.
“My boyfriend and I started a new tradition by getting a child off the Christmas tree in stores and buying their Christmas present. It’s $40 to $50 tops but it will make a child’s day a little brighter.”
While some people participate just to do it, others have found a purpose to why charity is important to them.
“Sick Kids hospital saved my little brother . . . at the tender age of three weeks he had open-heart surgery. He lost two pounds overnight and almost died twice. I donate every year to the hospital that made it possible for me to have my baby brother,” says Mollie Casey, a recent Sheridan College graduate.
No matter what your story is, never feel like you what you’re doing isn’t enough. Don’t doubt the value of yourself, because every bit of time you share, or skill you use, or dollar you donate is helping.