Giving Back for the Holidays


Emmah Bouchari

Society is slowly walking out of the mess that has been 2020 and 2021 and is eager to get back to seeing loved ones again during the holidays. The holidays are home for so much love, comfort, and excitement. At the same time, some may also be dealing with the emotions of knowing that many families are struggling this year. Knowing that some families won’t be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner, some children won’t have gifts under their tree, some people won’t be able to stay warm because they don’t have a winter coat, and even knowing that all that some people want is their lost loved ones back has left many people wondering, “How can I give back?”

It may seem as if we will never be able to meet the multitude of needs in the world, but that is so far from true, because we all know that if we each do something small to help it will add up. West has been an amazing resource for opportunities to give back to our community. Mrs. Ende, the faculty sponsor for Student Council, says, “The student council has been providing ten full Thanksgiving meals to ten families in need since West has opened.  Students donate the non-perishable items, and the student council supplies a gift card to cover the perishables.  On top of the Thanksgiving meals, the Student Council is also running a food drive for the New Lenox food pantry.” That is just one example of a way West gives you an opportunity to help others during the holidays.

You can also give back to your community independently. Giving back doesn’t necessarily mean having to spend any money! Do you have an old, spare coat lying around your house? If so, you can donate your coat to The Salvation Army Corps Donation Drop Box located at 300 3rd Ave, Joliet IL, 60433. All you have to do is drop your coat off, and then they gift it to people in need for warmth this winter. You can also simply send a free card online to patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this winter. Any words of encouragement during the holiday season for these children going through an extremely challenging time is forever appreciated. And you can do it right at home!    

Giving back has become so easy. Whether you find a way to give back through West or independently, it’s still something to be very proud of, and to hold pride in knowing that you have made someone’s holiday season a lot easier. The hardest part is finding a resource, and West is here to help you with that! Get involved and give back! 

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