Volunteering Over the Holidays

As the holidays are closing in, many students are scrambling to buy the perfect presents for families and friends. However, some students aren’t able to participate in the festivities due to personal reasons.

“During the holidays, the most help is needed,” junior Brandon Good said. “There are a lot of families who can’t afford to buy presents for their kids or a turkey for Thanksgiving. I’ve always been told if you have the ability to help someone else, you should do it. One day you might be in their situation.”

Organizations like Feed My Starving Children, Phoenix Rescue Mission and Paz de Christo allow volunteers to help pack or distribute food to those who need it, whether they are in Mesa or another country.

“Volunteering benefits our community in so many ways: food is provided, houses are built, gardens are grown, relationships are built, smiles are created and lives are changed,” Student Advisor Ms. Bianchi said. “It always feels good to give back, but even better to see how your contribution is helping others. Students should volunteer because it gives them a sense of contribution to our community. Once you’ve experienced a service learning event, volunteering typically turns into a lifetime of helping others.”

The act of volunteering earns the student service learning hours, which goes towards the Service Learning Honor for Excellence seal on their diploma. For juniors and seniors, the minimum number of hours is 150 while freshmen and sophomores need 200. The seal shows the student’s dedication to bettering their community, and many colleges offer scholarships for completing service.

“Most scholarship and college applications will ask about your service experience,” Ms. Bianchi said. “It’s important to have a cause you have committed to since it shows your involvement in the school and community.”

To learn more about service learning, contact Ms. Bianchi, or visit the volunteering page at http://www.mpsaz.org/rmhs/services/counseling/service-learning.

(Featured Photo Courtesy of Brandon Good.)