Spirit of the Season: Ways to Volunteer During Holiday Season


Anna Evilsizor

TIMELY TUTORING Staying after school, seniors, Nick Hanas and Pagie Sideris, help tutor Cynthia Ortiz, junior. “I like the opportunities I have to help people,” Hanas said.

Dorothy Lakshmanamurthy, Page Editor

‘Tis the “season of giving” when the holiday season puts emphasis on volunteering time and donating to charities. Izzy Boleski, senior, was inspired by the holiday spirit and her membership in the Mustang Volunteer Project (MVP) to volunteer outside on her own time. She began looking for places to volunteer at, and Campagna Academy sparked her interest. Starting her sophomore year, she partnered with Campagna Academy to collect hygiene donations for the children and young adults who live there for Christmas.

“I believe helping others is important because you never know how much of an impact you can make in someone’s life,” Izzy Boleski said. “Campagna Academy thrives on these day-to-day essential needs. Just by donating something or even giving a hand, could benefit others greatly.” 

Donating to a different charity for the past 17 years, Ms. Kristen Szafasz’s family hosts a Charity Brunch with their family and friends to collect items for a charity of their choosing. In the past, they have donated to the humane society, art schools, and women shelters. This year, they will be collecting pasta, sauces, and easy packable items to give to St. Joseph’s Parish Church in Dyer to give to people in need. 

“It is sort of just like a big get together during the holiday season because we are so fortunate as a family and friends to have what we have,” Ms. Szafasz said. “Growing up in a family that didn’t necessarily have a lot of the struggles that these places have made me want to give back. If you can give, give. If you can, you should.” 

Ms. Leigh Ann Westland, MVP sponsor, explains the various ways to help volunteer within the community. If members like working with kids, the Munster Parks and Recreation has many kids events along with volunteering opportunities at the elementary schools. If they like sports, they can volunteer to help score town league games or timing for swim. 

 “There is an event for everyone, so you should volunteer for something that sparks your interest,” Ms. Westland said. “Why spend your time doing something if you don’t like doing it?”