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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Give thanks by giving back

Aarushi Bahadur
COMMUNITY SERVICE. Thanksgiving break presents a great opportunity to get involved in the community by volunteering and making thoughtful donations. However, community service is much needed all year long.

With November underway and Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to express gratitude by giving back to our local community. However, many organizations — often ones specializing in meal preparation or distribution — get overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of volunteers during the holidays, and at times, a significant increase in hands on deck can be counterproductive. Where, then, can one make a positive difference without overwhelming well-known organizations? Here are some great options.

Open Arms Minnesota
Nonprofit organization Open Arms Minnesota connects critically ill Minnesotans with free meals. Each November, they host a Turkey Drive to provide Thanksgiving meals to families. The organization offers longer-term volunteering positions for cooks and drivers as well as an option to donate to help the Turkey Drive reach its goal of $168,000.

Open Door Pantry
The Open Door Pantry is a hunger relief organization based out of Dakota County, which includes a fixed pantry site and several mobile services. The organization accepts both donations and volunteers. That’s not the only way to contribute: anyone can run and raise money for The Open Door Pantry at the annual Nov. 23 Turkey Trot in St. Paul.

Groveland Food Shelf
Located in Minneapolis, Groveland Food Shelf is a nonprofit that seeks to provide groceries for those in need. The organization accepts donations of personal hygiene items, non-perishable food items and monetary sums in addition to providing opportunities for individual and group volunteering.

Project for Pride in Living
Project for Pride in Living helps lower-income Minneapolis residents prepare for the workforce and stabilize their homes, and assists young people enduring homelessness. They are requesting donations in order to support their activities and participants, but also have open volunteering and internship positions listed on their website.

Kids in Need Foundation
The Kids in Need Foundation provides the necessary supplies for a full semester of active learning to teachers and children in underprivileged schools. The foundation welcomes support through school supply drives, monetary donations, or applications for open positions in the organization.

These are far from the only options. The Twin Cities Mutual Aid Project has compiled a map of aid sites statewide. Likewise, Doing Good Together assembles a list of family-friendly volunteer opportunities in the Twin Cities. Both are great tools to find further nearby volunteer opportunities year-round.

This Thanksgiving, let the holidays be a point of entry into community service.

At the end of the day, hunger and poverty are daily problems. Charities and community organizations need help year-round. Therein lies the essentiality of volunteering: it creates community connections, and even a small amount of work can make a significant difference in someone’s life. While the holiday break presents an excellent opportunity to engage in positive change, participation doesn’t need to end there. This Thanksgiving, let the holidays be a point of entry into community service.

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About the Contributor
Aarushi Bahadur
Aarushi Bahadur, Copy Editor/Promotions
My name is Aarushi Bahadur (she/her). I work as a Copy Editor/Promotions for The Rubicon Online. At school, I’m president of A Capella Club and am involved in debate, orchestra, theater, and tennis. I love to talk about classic literature, '80s new wave, and Twin Peaks. I can be reached at [email protected].

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