by Aliyah Armstrong | staff writer

 Although during the holidays sometimes the focus is on the gifts we will get, we all know deep down that giving is better than receiving. Choosing to serve your community can help others experience more joy during the holiday season. There are many opportunities for volunteering in the San Antonio community so you can always find one that suits your personal interest.

Here are five ways in which you can serve others this holiday season:

  1. San Antonio Food Bank

The San Antonio Food Bank offers many volunteer opportunities for students of all ages so not only can you volunteer, but you can get your whole family involved. While volunteering at the food bank, you can work as a mobile pantry volunteer or if you have a green thumb you can work in the garden and help beautify the property. For those who enjoy working with kids, you can serve children in a special kids cafe or if you want to put your organizational skills you honed in school to use, you can participate in warehouse sorting and packing. All of these volunteer opportunities only require you to be at least 15 or 16 so there is no reason you can’t get in your car and go.

Learn more at: http://safoodbank.org/current-volunteer-opportunities/

  1.  Buffalo Hump Run 5 & 10 Miler

This event takes place on Saturday, December 19th so if you’re traveling out of town for the holidays, you can still participate. There are many things you can help with and high school age volunteers are welcome. The best part is, that none of the jobs require you to actually run unless you want to. If your jobs is fulfilled before the start of the race, you can run the race along with everyone else and prepare your body for all the foods and sweets you will inevitably eat over the break. As well as this event, the San Antonio Roadrunners or SARR, holds many races throughout the entire year so if you can’t make it to this race, there are plenty of other volunteer opportunities.

The best part about this service opportunity is that you can participate in the race after you're finished.

The best part about this service opportunity is that you can participate in the race after you’re finished.

Find out more at: http://www.saroadrunners.com/

  1. Haven for Hope

Haven for Hope is an organization that offers shelter for those who do not have one. They provide various opportunities for volunteering and are especially welcoming to minors. Haven for Hope or H4H, has hours during the week and the weekend so even when school is in session you can still serve others. You simply have to take a tour and then submit your application. Unfortunately but also fortunately, Haven for Hope has so many volunteers this holiday season that they can’t accept any more applications until after New Years. However you can still volunteer next holiday season and not to mention, during the school year. Haven for Hope has projects for groups and individuals so grab a few friends, take a tour, submit your applications ,and head over to Haven for Hope to you can help make a difference in the community.

Get more information http://www.havenforhope.org/new/documents/VolunteerOpportunitiesCatalog.pdf 

  1. Animal Shelter

If you wish to work with some four legged friends this holiday season then volunteering at the animal shelter is the job for you. There are several animal shelters in San Antonio and the Animal Defense League (ADL) and San Antonio Pets Alive (SAPA) are two great places to serve. You are required to be 16 at both shelters to volunteer by yourself so this great for upperclassmen who can drive but if your younger sibling wants to get involved, simply bring your parent along so the whole family can volunteer. There are many jobs available like dog walking, being an adoption counselor assistant, and being a kennel attendant.

If you volunteer to work at the animal shelter, you get the opportunity to work with adorable animals like this dog.

If you volunteer to work at the animal shelter, you get the opportunity to work with adorable animals like this dog.

Learn how to help a precious pooch (or cat) at: http://www.sanantoniopetsalive.org/volunteer/

http://adltexas.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer/

  1. Food drive/Food4SA

Maybe you can’t make it down to the San Antonio Food Bank to offer your service but there is something else you can start to help feed the community and make the holidays just a little brighter for others. By starting a food drive, you can collect canned and other non-perishable goods for those who don’t have as much to eat this holiday season. You can hold a drive virtually anywhere and then drop off your collected food at the San Antonio branch of the  Security Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU). 

A food drive can be started from virtually any location thanks to the Food4SA campaign.

A food drive can be started from virtually any location thanks to the Food4SA campaign.

Get the details at: http://safoodbank.org/food4sa/

 

 

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About The Author

Aliyah Armstrong is a senior at Johnson High School and an editor-in-chief of MyJagNews. She spends most of her time dancing, as a Belle and outside of school. When she is not dancing, she spends time playing with her German Shepherd puppy, Cinna (yes, he is named after The Hunger Games character).

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