5 ways to help others this holiday season


Graphic Illustration by Blake Loria

There are many ways to give back to others and the community during the holidays. With our list of five ways to do just that, students and staff can partake in both volunteering and donating to those in need during winter break.

With winter break beginning Friday, Dec. 18 and COVID-19 rates rising in the Amarillo area, The Eagle’s Tale offers readers five ways for students and staff to safely give back to others during Christmastime.

1. Donate Blankets

Blankets are an affordable and rather easy-to-make gift for those unsure how to help or where. Donors can provide blankets to homeless and animal shelters, along with several local churches. Alternatively, fabric or fleece can be bought from retailers such as Walmart and Joann to make tie blankets. Instructions to make such blankets can be found on wikiHow.

2. Volunteer at Snack Pak 4 Kids

The organization offers a fast and safe way to volunteer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers can pack bags for backpacks, pick up empty totes, deliver totes and prepare donated food in an assembly line. Dates can be found on the organization’s website. Alternatively, the organization accepts money donation, of which 100% pays for food. According to Snak Pak 4 Kids, $16 a month feeds an elementary school student, and $30 a month feeds a high school student. One-time donations are also accepted. Those interested can read the organization’s Stories of Transformation to hear from students and teachers impacted by the program.

3. Donate Money or Supplies to the High Plains Food Bank

According to the High Plains Food Bank, it is their mission to alleviate hunger in the Texas Panhandle. Founded in 1982, the organization provided 8.25 million pounds of food in 2018 to the 30,000 square mile service area, including Potter and Randall counties. People can donate a one-time or monthly gift on their website, as well as host a virtual food fundraiser. If interested, the organization also offers a list of current events and promotions.

4.’Rescue Christmas’ with The Salvation Army

According to the organization, The Salvation Army Texas has served more than 2.3 million meals since 2020 began and anticipate serving more than 100,000 children. Started in 1865, The Salvation Army currently serves 23 million Americans a year and 130 countries around the globe. Donors can give monthly or they can give a one-time donation on their website.

Online giving is crucial as the famous Red Kettle Campaign–although celebrating its 130th year–is expected to take a hit because traffic at stores has declined from the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the virus is preventing volunteers from ringing bells while the number of people needing assistance increases. Learn more about the organization, find ways to help and view events on their website.

5. Make a Difference at Home

Donating money or even volunteering in person this year may be unviable for many people. And even if you cannot help in the above ways, having conversations, commenting online, sharing the stories of charities and non-profits; these are some of the many ways you can get the word out. Donating your time to raise awareness about local issues is an immeasurable way to help the community and even beyond this winter.