Take the time to give back during the holiday season

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just consider the winter break a great time to be with your family or relax, the holidays are a time when we tend to become increasingly aware of our fortunes. The fact is, as university students, most of us have nice warm homes with food and family to spend the break in.

And what better time than when we’re able to see just how lucky most of us are to contribute to a cause? We’re often flooded with reminders of more traditional holiday charities, urging us to donate toys or money to the less fortunate, which can make a huge impact.

But without a consistent or substantial income — and student loans hanging over many of our shoulders — there are still valuable ways to make a contribution. Canadian Blood Services (CBS), for example, provides a completely unique way to donate, even if you’re low on funds. And it only takes about an hour of your time between shopping.

Or, there’s always volunteering. Organizations that collect money or toys are always in need of people to donate their time. Even if it’s just an hour or two, being active in the community is something you can do that is free, helps raise your awareness and allows you to help improve and even save lives.
You can even try to reduce your carbon footprint this holiday season, keeping your Christmas lights on for less time or carpooling.

It’s important to remember that while we may be on tight budgets, we can always do something to contribute, and it doesn’t have to be in a traditional way. There are so many unique opportunities to make a contribution, allowing us to enjoy the holidays and help others enjoy theirs.