Volunteering to be Thankful

I read in the paper the other day that one of my favorite teachers from high school passed away.  Mr. Thompson, affectionately known as “Mr. T”, was my biology teacher.  Not a favorite class of mine, for sure, but he made it fun.  I learned a lot about things I had previously never even thought about.  But more importantly, he educated me on the subject of helping others.

Our classroom was set up with tables, two students each, alphabetically.  The boy I had to sit with was certainly not someone I would have chosen.  We had nothing in common and he never seemed to be at the same pace as the rest of the class.  Mr. T would rely on me helping him out so as to keep the class moving forward.  Looking back to those years, and helping that struggling student, I guess that was my introduction to volunteerism; and in many ways helping him helped me to understand the topics better.

Maybe that’s why so many get involved with volunteering, not just because of the way it makes them feel, but because it enables them to see things differently.    If you are looking for some ideas to give back this holiday season, how about spearheading a toy or coat drive in your community.  If that’s not your cup of tea, how about the Salvation Army?  This organization provides Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys.  They also help with basic necessities and seasonal aid for all families and especially families of prisoners.  They keep their shelter open for Christmas dinner and bring gifts to shut-ins and nursing homes.  Even if you only have a few hours to spare, those red kettles are everywhere and the bells aren’t going to ring themselves!

Where we live there is a seven acre, three-million-light holiday display you can walk through by Lake Superior.  It is a strictly volunteer-run lighting display that comes complete with bonfires, cookies, cocoa, and of course Santa!  Bentleyville now even features a 128 foot metal Christmas tree that boasts 50,000 LED lights just on that structure.  Voted best lighting display in the state of Minnesota, it will open Friday the 16th of November and host nearly 200,000 visitors before it closes the day after Christmas.  Now that sounds like a volunteer opportunity to get involved in; and who doesn’t love fire and cocoa?  I think that is definitely something Mr. T could get behind.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rosanne Perala on November 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I love the picture and the story is absolutely out of this world. So many looking in the wrong places for things to do when everything right is under our noses.


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