Page 10

giving back

By Jean Mangan

Little Ways Big Way to help in a

t

THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS upon us.We are busy attending school functions, seeing extended family, decorating, menu-planning, and cleaning. Christmas music and decorations have been out since early October. Kids are studying for exams and finishing up term papers.This time of year often feels frenetic and chaotic, even though the purposes of the holidays is to celebrate light during darkness, being connected to a higher purpose, remembering family, and remaining united in our paths to peace.This year, try to give back to our community during this holiday season in whatever capacity you can, big or small. Donate! Add an item to the Little Free Pantry around town that is closest to you. These wooden cabinets started being placed around Athens in March 2017. Helpful items include crackers, canned food, toothpaste, and shampoo. As the weather gets colder, items like socks, gloves, and handwarmers will all

10

Athens-Oconee Parent

find their ways home with those in need.This is a great initiative that has been put together. You can pick up an extra of something you are already buying at the grocery store and place it in the pantry you pass on your way home. Locations of Little Free Pantries include: Extra Special People, Inc., Athens Community Career Academy, Ebenezer Baptist Church West, Lifespan Montessori of Athens, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, Strong Girls’ Pantry at Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, Reblossom, and Double Helix STEAM School; and coming soon to East Athens Community Center, Presbyterian Student Center at UGA, and The Church at College Station. Start a new holiday challenge, where every day of the holiday season you add a

Fill a holiday box during the season, then donate to an area food bank or food pantry. PHOTO BY JEAN MANGAN

At left, a Little Free Pantry located at Extra Special People, Inc. headquarters. PHOTO BY SARAH DANIS

canned or dried good to a box, and at the end (once all the wrapping paper is thrown away and the decorations have come down), donate the goods to locations such as Athens Area Emergency Food Bank or the UGA Student Food Pantry. If there is a charity that has a special place in your heart, consider sending them a check.With a receipt you can potentially use that donation as a tax deduction.This could also be a good gift idea for someone on your list who already has everything but has a particular cause about which she feels passionate. You can also donate by volunteering your time at the food bank, serving food, organizing donations, visiting a nursing home, or a plethora of options.There is always someone out there who can use your help.Volunteering does not have to

Athens Oconee Parent holiday 2017