The season of giving: The holiday season increases donations

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The season of giving: The holiday season increases donations

Alexis Huang, Staff Writer

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   Two years ago, Shelly Brown discovered the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Brown is a single mother struggling with leukemia, and the food bank made it possible to provide food for her family.

  “When someone mentions the holidays, the first thing that comes to mind for me is giving back.” volunteer services organizer of the Second Harvest Food Bank Mindy Ortiz said.

  With people getting into the holiday spirit, the desire to spread the love tends to be more present.

  “There are lots of people who don’t have family to celebrate with or people who don’t have anything to celebrate,” senior and president of Key Club Adede Appah-Sampong said. “A lot of people recognize this and want to do whatever they can to bring even a little bit of happiness into someone’s life especially during such a happy time.”

  The holidays are a time of spreading love, and this is empirically true as donation counts tend to be at their  highest.

  “During the holiday season, our donation count is always at its peak,” Ortiz said. “More than 30 percent of our donations come in during November and December. The holidays are a time of receiving for most, which reminds us that not everyone is as fortunate which is why giving back becomes so prevalent during this season. For many families, it’s an annual tradition to take part in our holiday events which is another reason why donations are so high during November and December.”

  Similarly, Key Club also participates in annual events, with some of their larger events taking place during the holiday season.

  “Every year, we make care packages for the homeless during the holiday season,” Appah-Sampong said. “We fill Ziploc bags with basic necessities and we take the care packages home to distribute to the homeless. Our sponsoring Kiwanis club hosts a ‘Stocking Stuffing Party’ every year in December where volunteers help fill hundreds of holiday stockings that are distributed to children in the community by law enforcement.”

  At many events, various organizations participate, truly creating a feeling of community. However, after the holiday season, donations for nonprofits tend to become less common.

  “After our peak season, we still receive donations, but not as much as we normally would during the holidays,” Ortiz said. “This is why we highly encourage families and schools to get involved by spreading our message. We also schedule events throughout the year which we also highly recommend the community to get involved in. Giving back isn’t just a holiday thing!”

  Even though the larger events are hosted during the holiday season, there are many other opportunities throughout the year that students can partake in.

  “For me, there is so much to be thankful for in my life that if I have the opportunity to spread the goodness that I know to someone else, I have to take it,” Appah-Sampong said. “When I go home, there is food to eat, clothes to wear, parents to talk to, books to read, and countless other things. That isn’t the reality for everyone. People are struggling around the world, and it is important for us as one race, the human race, to look out for one another and help in any capacity that we can.”

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