Looking for a way to spend that extra free time over winter break and be able to help those in need? Look into some of these ideas.
1. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. The holidays can certainly be a difficult time for those who can’t even afford to keep a roof over their heads. Volunteering at places such as Bethlehem Inn, Shepherd’s House or with the Family Kitchen is a great way to reach out to the homeless community.
2. Have family or friends who are struggling to make ends meet and have young kids? Offer to watch their children while they are working or just needing a day off. With high daycare and babysitting costs, this will definitely be a blessing for them.
3. Visit the elderly at a home such as Pilot Butte Retirement Center or Bend Transitional Care. Many seniors do not have family nearby and will be spending the holidays alone. Call the home ahead of time to get permission to bring cookies, or if you have musical talent, offer to come and perform during the lunch or dinner hour.
4. Put together care packages for military personnel by participating in a packing day with the local Caring For Troops unit, or donate to one of the many local food drives held for families near Thanksgiving and Christmas.
5. Adopt an addition to the family by contacting the Humane Society, All For Dogs rescue of Central Oregon or Bhava Animal Rescue. Make sure you can afford a pet and know all the responsibilities that will be included before you adopt, but there’s nothing better than a cute kitten, puppy or fish to spend Christmas with.
6. Participate in a walk or run for a cause and have fun with others while making a difference! Options include the Central Oregon Community College Turkey Trot on Nov. 23 or the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis on Dec. 7.