Students find ways to volunteer in the community


Amber Carver

Students put away goods to help out People in Need.

Amber Carver, Staff Writer

Community service is exactly what it sounds like; serving the community, but it has the potential to be so much more. It’s a way for people to truly give back to their communities, as well as the people within them. There are an increasing number of people who need service and a wide range of ways people can do so.
Following the shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people lost their jobs. Even two years later, there are quite a few individuals who still haven’t recovered.
As a result, there is more of a need than there was before for people to step up so that everyone can enjoy the holiday season, regardless of circumstance.
In Delaware specifically, there are a wide variety of opportunities for people to give back. There is something for everybody to get involved with and help make a difference during the holiday season.
One organization local to Delaware is People in Need. They have a few different projects that help struggling individuals get food, clothing and other essential supplies.
At the beginning of the holiday season, they took over a building at the fairgrounds, where they prepared holiday care packages including food for Christmas dinner, presents and other holiday essentials.
They especially looked for volunteers during this time, and students from the different high schools in Delaware County lent a helping hand.
“There [were] a lot of people showing up, and we helped a lot of families this year,” said Alice McClelland, a sophomore at Hayes who has volunteered there for two years now. “The staff there were very, very nice. They were helping us all along the way.”
Another organization that needs help is Delaware’s M*A*S*H* Pantry. They provide many services, including holiday banquets for local veterans.
They have always welcomed anyone willing to volunteer, making it an all-around enjoyable experience for everyone. The veterans and staff alike are always looking for new faces to help make a difference.
The Humane Society is a good option for anyone who considers themself to be an animal lover, offering plenty of opportunities to interact with animals. Another great place is the Common Ground Free Store, which could always use more volunteers throughout the holiday season.
Students at Hayes must complete 21 hours of community service before they can graduate. While the holidays are a perfect time to get some hours recorded, many of these organizations continue to need help in January and beyond.
“That particular brand of community service can be pretty much anything,” said Sarah Stevenson, a counselor at Hayes.
Many students perform tasks such as shoveling driveways, babysitting or other similar jobs around their neighborhoods. As long as they do not receive payment for such tasks, it is considered an act of community service.
For those in need of more specific ideas, there is a website called Connections Volunteer Center, which helps people find all kinds of community service opportunities within Delaware County.
Everyone has their own reasons and goals when it comes to volunteering. Many find great happiness just knowing they made a difference.
DACC student Quentin Myers volunteered at a water station during the Ironman Ohio race. “Just that feeling knowing you are helping people stay safe and hydrated during their race set right in my heart,” Myers said.
No matter the reason someone decides to do community service, it’s an all-around great way to make yourself and others feel better about the place they live in. The holidays are a great time to help out and get involved.