Alana Margolis, Senior
The holidays are fast approaching and before we can get comfy and stuff our faces with turkey and mashed potatoes, we must remember the true purpose of Thanksgiving: to give back. Now I know what you’re thinking-- “I'm only in high school; what can I do to help?” Well good news, I have plenty of things you can do to make someone’s holiday season a little brighter and filled with the sweet smell of pumpkin pie.
In the Lehigh Valley, there is a plethora of things we can do to benefit our community. One of the biggest organizations we have in the Greater Lehigh Valley is Valley Wide Help, which is run by the American Red Cross. Valley Wide Help provides meals to the needy and you can also volunteer and help serve meals. Valley Wide Help offers this service in Allentown, South Whitehall, Bethlehem, Easton, Bath, Slatington, Carbon County and various food distribution locations, including:
- Northern Lehigh Food Bank
- St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church on W. Turner in Allentown
- Tamaqua Salvation Army on W. Broad Street in Tamaqua
- Jordan United Church of Christ on Church Road in South Whitehall
Another great service is provided by the Allentown Rescue Mission. This particular group feeds the hungry and homeless a complete Thanksgiving dinner, comprised of turkey, dressing, potatoes, gravy, vegetables and dessert for just a small price of $1.97. The Allentown Rescue Mission asks for donations to help with this service starting at whatever one can donate. If you donate $15.76 you can feed 8 people, $25.61 for 13 and for $51.22 you can provide 26 meals and other vital care for those in need. Every penny counts, and any donation is a good one.
While help throughout Thanksgiving is widely appreciated and welcomed, those in need still need help as the year goes on. Towards the end of November, Holiday Hope Chests, a project which helps less fortunate kids in the Lehigh Valley, starts up. The “chests” are shoe boxes filled with age and gender appropriate gifts that all kids love. If this seems like the best thing for you, check out their website at http://www.volunteerlv.org/events/holiday-hope-chests.asp.
Your donation of time, money, or goods will help an person, a family, a stranger have a smile on their face this holiday season. What’s more rewarding than that? The answer is simple: nothing.
[Note: Organizations need volunteers throughout the year, so be sure to check out volunteerlv.org to see what you can do to help out!]