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Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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Giving Brings the Holiday Spirit, Even During a Pandemic

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It’s hard to feel the holiday spirit when the Centers for Disease Control say there’s no safe way to hold a holiday gathering and when the governor tells you not to socialize with anyone outside of your household. 

So, you can’t have a party or a big holiday meal, you shouldn’t meet a big group of friends at a restaurant and going to crowded areas is probably a bad idea. 

You still can spread holiday cheer, though—by giving. Volunteering and donating are two easy ways to make yourself feel good while also helping your fellow humans and the world around you. 

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In a study published in March 2020 in the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers found that volunteering is associated with higher levels of well-being as well as a positive change in well-being. 

There are plenty of other studies showing the health benefits to volunteering, too, including less depression, reduced stress, and longer lives. 

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So how can you spread charitable holiday cheer this year? Here are some ideas. 

Take Advantage of Matching or Rewards Programs. 

You don’t have to write a check to give much-needed charitable donations. Many businesses make giving easy with matching or rewards programs. 

The amount you end up donating may be small, but every single dollar counts! Places you often frequent or order from like Smith’s, Amazon Smile and Macey’s all donate a portion of your purchase to a charity of your choice. 

Set a Regular Volunteer Date. 

We’re in a pandemic, but we still need volunteers to help clients at our food bank and pantry locations. Volunteers usually help stock shelves and assist clients. Because of COVID-19, we require all volunteers, staff, and clients to wear a mask while inside our facilities. 

Also, because of gathering and social distancing restrictions, we can’t accept large groups of volunteers at this time. 

If you’d like to set up a regular volunteer date, contact our volunteer coordinator at volunteer@communityactionuc.org or (801) 691-5220. 

Earmark Donations. There won’t be any fun vending machines for making holiday donations this year, but you can still earmark gifts to Community Action Services and Food Bank any day, any time, through the donor button on our website. 

Host Your Own Drive. 

Does your school host an annual food drive? 

If it doesn’t, it’s time to start! We have all the information you need to get started on our Community Action Services website at www.communityactionuc.org/hosting-a-food-drive. We’ll even deliver and pick up your food barrels to make gathering donations simple. 

If you’re interested in hosting another kind of donation drive, then collect items for some of our specialty kits. We provide meals for children in need to take home on weekends and hygiene, birthday, homeless, and back-to-school kits. 

Don’t forget to set a goal before you get started! Don’t let social distancing or event restrictions stop you and your family from fully enjoying all your holiday giving traditions. 

Get creative and find new ways to spread some extra holiday spirit. (Serve Daily submission.)

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Guest Contributor
Articles from community members to share their viewpoints, or letter to the editor.

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