Volunteering around M.C.

Sarah Smith, Managing Editor

Volunteering is different for everyone.  Some people choose write a check to help an organization.  Some students and some families do not have extra money to donate during the holidays so they donate their time.   And there are some people who donate time and money.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were over 140,000 homeless children in the United States in 2014.  These children scramble every day just to eat and go to school.  Imagine Christmas morning for a homeless child.  How can you help?  Watch the holiday sales and buy a small toy for a young child in a shelter.

Will you donate your time?  There are so many ways to volunteer right here in Michigan City.  The Salvation Army is a wonderful organization that accepts donated items throughout the year.  The items are sold and the money raised helps pay for so many things like Disaster Relief, Hunger Relief, Youth Camps, Combating Human Trafficking (that is a whole other story) and Christmas Assistance.  Our Superintendent, Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, has been named Campaign Chair for this holiday season.  That means you can sign up to be a bell ringer—and bring a friend.  The Salvation Army says that one hour of bell ringing raises enough money to buy two bags of groceries for a family.

Don’t really want to donate money or ring a bell?  How about donating a gently used winter coat?  The demand for warm winter coats is high every year.  Concord Cleaners on Franklin Street will accept your coats, clean them at no cost and have them delivered to Trustee Rodney Washington’s office for distribution to those in need.  So, time to clean out those closets and donate your winter coats.

Toys for Tots began in 1947 as an effort by a few Marines in California and is now in all 50 states.  Toys for Tots collects new toys during the months of October, November, and December. The volunteers can help purchase toys and then wrap them.   Unwrapped, new toys can be dropped off at many locations throughout Laporte county and these toys will be distributed at Christmastime to children in the county.  The greatest need is for toys for both boys and girls ages 8-14.  Toys for Tots aims to give hope to children for a bright future and you can help them by donating a toy or your time.

You may not want to donate money, ring a bell, or donate toys.  How about helping out at one of the soup kitchens?  Volunteers are always welcome to assist in food preparation, serving and clean up.  Or you can volunteer to help at the food pantry.

Volunteering is a great way to be involved in the Michigan City community. There are opportunities to volunteer everywhere. The Soup Kitchen, the Food Pantries, Toys for Tots, Salvation Army, and many more. Volunteering is a great experience, and it is always needed in the community and the world. Volunteering is not only helping other people, it helps you to become a better person.

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