The holiday passion for philanthropy


Photo by True Van Dyke

Angel Tree cards fill up a Christmas tree at local coffee shop, Elevate.

True Van Dyke, Features Editor

The holiday season is not just full of Christmas lists and twinkling lights, but also people with hearts to serve and drives for philanthropy. The months of November and December are not labeled ‘the giving season” for nothing, and students at OHS help prove that. 

Whether one has never had the opportunity to volunteer before, or it is a weekly ritual, holiday cheer offers a new sense of inspiration for every area of generosity. Philanthropy is not just a blocked time on your calendar, but can have an everlasting impact on other people’s lives. Simple acts can lead to big changes, within the christmas season or not. 

“We volunteer, we make food for the homeless shelters, or go volunteer for dog shelters and stuff like that,”said Taylor Wick, sophomore.. 

Wick is a part of a mother-daughter service organization that participates in volunteer days, year-round. Anyone can find a source for giving and an outlet to help, some of which are even on campus. 

“I’m in charge of a committee right now, and that is philanthropy. Right now we are working on “Adopt a Family,” [and] we’re splitting up kids for each person in STUGO,” said Nellie Taylor, senior.

STUGO has always targeted projects for philanthropy during the holiday seasons, such as Stockings for Soldiers, Feed my Starving Children, and Adopt a Family, but one does not just have to be a part of STUGO to want to help others. 

“We’re all growing up and learning so much right now, and I feel like we need to learn, right now especially, that we need to serve [other] people,” Taylor said. 

In such an influential time in high school, teenagers need to know that they can also have influence on others and this world.  Whether Christmas is being used as an excuse to serve or not, there is no better time to express your gratitude than now, by spreading joy to those who could use it. 

“A lot of people don’t have a lot, and I feel like a lot of us are super fortunate, and so I think knowing what we have and how we need to be grateful for that, and then give what we can give to other people, so that they can experience that too,” Taylor said. 

Knowing the importance of serving is just one step to making an impact and putting in the effort to help others. It can be intimidating to jump into volunteering, but it does not have to be. 

“Just start, it’s so easy to look up places and just go; there’s so many, like [St.] Mary’s Food Bank or Salvation Army at the mall, these are all close places,” Wick said. 

Ultimately, the holiday season can be your reason to start the act of philanthropy, but it does not just stop there. Anybody, including students at OHS, can help people in need year-round, giving back, and making an impactful difference in somebody else’s life. 

“I think it’s just knowing the joy you can bring other people, and it’s just nice to do good things for people all around the year, but especially during the holiday season because it’s such a happy time for everyone,” Wick said.