September 13, 2011

5 GREAT THINGS: WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERNCE AS A COLLEGE STUDENT

Since I was so inspired by the TOMS event, I have to get a little gushy on you, and I want to share some ways that everyday college students can get involved with charities and giving to those in need, while keeping in mind our busy schedules. I know it is tough sometimes, but stuff like this really will make you feel good about yourself.

1. Donate your old clothes. This may sound obvious, but you would be so surprised how many people don't! Donate clothes to a good cause such as Volunteers of America or Goodwill. Your clothes will not only find a second home, but the profits that they bring in will benefit others. 

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 2. Engage in service learning. A lot of schools require some sort of community service requirement, and many classes require it individually. But you shouldn't just look at it as something you have to do, and just work to get through your mandatory hours. Choose something that you might have never done before, and try to learn something. I had to complete 10 hours last year for a religion class, and I went to the Boys and Girls Club. I thought I was going to hate it, but I actually liked being there. It was exhausting, but I learned tons, and I liked getting to know the kids. Make the best out of it.

3. Recycle. You would be surprised how many people just throw away their bottles and cans simply because it is 'easier.' Bottles and cans sit for such a long time in landfills, and if you recycle them, the materials can be easily reused. Many campuses have programs such as the 'Dream Machine,' where you can earn points for recycling, that can later be traded in for prizes. And some states even offer monetary compensation!

4. Donate to a food bank. This is such an easy thing to do, and makes such a big difference, I don't know why people don't do it more often. Food banks are always in need of nonperishable goods, so pick up one or two extra items next time you go to the grocery store! This is especially popular and important during the holiday season, when everyone wants to have a nice meal with their families.


5. Join a service organization on campus. There are organizations like the TOMS club all over the place. Join one, and you can have access to be involved with tons of local volunteer opportunities, plus, you are sure to make lots of new friends! 


Now that I have written all of this, I am thinking to myself, what have I personally done to make a difference lately. Sure I donate my old clothes, but I can always do more. Plus giving back just makes you feel so good!

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