Echoes of Carmel

It’s Good to Give Thanks

Volunteering during the holidays is one of the best ways to celebrate.

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On Thanksgiving day, most families spend their time watching the Macy’s Parade while drinking wine and waiting for the cook to finish preparing the food. This Thanksgiving, my family and I decided to volunteer with a program that helps the elderly and homeless who struggle to put dinner on the table regularly, let alone an entire Thanksgiving feast. 

We were asked to work from 9-1, set up, clean up, and manage stations where we were needed. After checking in, my party of eight was assigned to the drink section. We received name tags and simple instructions on how the process would work. We set up the ice, cups, and drinks and waited for the crowd to come; those in need were welcome from 10-1. As more and more people started to arrive, we were able to develop a consistent system. We went on serving drinks until it was time to leave, and went on to celebrate our own Thanksgiving meal later that night.

This experience may seem simple, plain, and uninteresting, but the actual experience was much more thrilling. The other volunteers were lighthearted, fun people, most of whom were from the same community as those who were being served; it really showed how communities unite to help one another. I also loved watching how the people we were helping were so happy to be able to come together as a community to celebrate family and joy with each other. There was a live band with upbeat music, including jazz, holiday-themed, and rock tunes, as well as playing the classics. When most of the crowd had arrived, performers in extravagant costumes danced through the aisles, encouraging the crowd to join them in celebration; almost everyone in attendance joined in. 

Volunteering with my family this year has allowed me to truly appreciate the life I have been given. These people were more than happy just to spend time with their community members and have a good time. I’v

e never been exposed to this type of experience before, but it was an eye-opening experience to see how other people’s families celebrate. Overall, volunteering was an incredible experience, and I encourage others to partake in similar events. 

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Mount Carmel Academy's student newspaper
It’s Good to Give Thanks