Volunteer to beat the cold

Feb. 1, 2017, 1:08 p.m. | By Neva Taylor | 5 years, 3 months ago

Places where you can give back this winter

Even though the holidays are over, it's important to carry on with those feelings of family, of love and of giving back. It's time to help someone else, whether it be through monetary donations or hard work, by planting a new tree or handing someone a bowl of hot food. Winter is a time when many homeless people need help more than ever, in the form of coats and shelter, to weather the cold to come. Small things add up to big things and everyone can do a little something to make the world a better place. Here are a couple of ways to do just that.

A Wider Circle
Who: A Wider Circle
Where: 9159 Brookville Rd #C
When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. any day
Contact: 301-608-3508
How: A Wider Circle's mission is to end poverty in the DMV. They want everyone to have a home with furniture and to have no one living on the streets. This foundation takes people's used furniture and clothes and gives it to families in need. They also offer free job help (advice, classes and formal clothes for the interview process) to anyone who needs it. There are many way to volunteer and help out. You can donate used or old furniture and drop it off at their warehouse to help a family in need, or you can contact them to help out with moving furniture either out of a donor's house or into a new recipient's house.

Photo: Wider Circle is furnishing people's homes for free in an effort to make sure that everyone has a place to call home. Photo courtesy of Wider Circle.

Shepherd's Table
Who: Shepherd's Table
Where: 8106 Georgia Ave Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
When: Anytime you can help out, just call them up
Contact: 301-585-6463
How: Shepherd's Table is an organization dedicated to helping the homeless. There are many different ways to volunteer; you can simply donate coats or other basic necessities (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.), or you can donate your time by working in their soup kitchen and feeding the less fortunate. They also have a medical clinic and coat closet where you can assist with sorting coats or filling out paperwork. Shepherd's Table touches thousands of lives just by giving people a little extra support.

Photo: Shepherd's Table is a large volunteering organization with many branches, including their soup kitchen which feeds thousands every year. Photo courtesy of Shepherd's Table.

Host a fundraiser
Who: You!
Where: Anywhere you want! School, church, library, etc.
When: Anytime
How: There are so many great non-profits and charities that are trying their best to change the world for the better and sometimes all they need is a little financial support. One great way is to set up a fundraiser, anywhere you like, and raise funds for a cause you are passionate about. Ways to raise money could include a book sale, bake sale or another similar event. Some people don't have the time to physically go out and help change the world, and many who do want to help don't know how. Anyone can be involved in helping a good cause by having a fundraiser.

Photo: Every year, numerous volunteer opportunities are made available on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to give back. Photo courtesy of Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter.

MLK day of service
Who: Hosted by Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Where: Silver Spring Civic Center
When: MLK Day (January 16, 2017) 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Contact: Sign up on their website
How: MLK Day is an annual day of service at the Civic Center where people come together to volunteer. According to their website, there will be many different opportunities this year. Some may include packaging food, making dog toys for animal shelters, making blankets for hospices and sending letters to American troops. Hop on the bus or metro to Downtown Silver Spring to go to work for whatever cause strikes your fancy.

On top of making you feel great, philanthropy can allow Blazers to earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours for their help, which count towards the high school graduation requirement. All of the charity groups mentioned above acknowledge the SSL requirements and are more than willing to sign the SSL form.

As a welcoming and diverse community, Blair has many different types of people and no matter their background, they are accepted. This acceptance should extend into the surrounding communities and Blazers can set the example. Show others that a considerate attitude isn't just for the classroom, but also for the world at large.

Tags: MLK SSL fundraiser volunteer Shepherd's Table

Neva Taylor. I love soccer, cheer, and track. I'm excited to be writing for SCO. More »

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