A Student’s Guide to Giving Back on a College Budget

Giving back during the holidays is an excellent tradition practiced by many, but regardless of the season there are many ways to make a difference. Unfortunately, it’s common knowledge that it can be economically challenging for students to strive for high level philanthropy; it’s always in style to have a charitable heart, but when you’ve got less dough than pizza hut it’s the thought that counts, right?

Actually, there are many ways to give back regardless of if you prefer to donate time, money, or belongings. So don’t fret, here are just a few ideas for students to experience the joy of giving back this holiday season and throughout the year without stressing their budgets:

Clean out your pantry; If you’re like me, there are most likely multiple non-perishable items in your pantry that are waiting to see the light of day. Consider donating some unused items to a local food bank like Paul’s Pantry, or perhaps help fellow students in need by donating the NWTC Shared Harvest Food Cupboard. Before you begin raiding, please note that it’s important to check those expiration dates, if you won’t eat it, others shouldn’t be expected to either.

Donate Blood; As we’ve previously acknowledged, as a student it’s not always possible to donate money or goods to charities, so instead consider a powerful donation that can save lives by giving blood to the American Red Cross. This also gives you an excuse to eat cookies, but really, should you even need an excuse?

Visit the elderly in nursing homes and assisted living facilities; For some, the holidays can be an especially lonely season, which can be quite detrimental to an individual’s health and wellbeing. Consider visiting those living in nursing homes and assisted living facilitates. You may find yourself surprised by what you learn from time tested experiences and wisdom, and find that you have a lot to share as well!

Products with a purpose; Social enterprising is a hot topic throughout today’s sustainable social change discussions. Whether you’re shopping for yourself, or searching for that perfect gift for someone special, consider shopping at trendy community-minded retailers like TOMS shoes, Love Your Melon apparel, Eye Heart World handbags or Unlock Hope apparel.

Perform small acts of kindness; Generosity and kindness don’t need to be grand gestures. Always be looking for small opportunities to surprise, delight, or help people within your community. Maybe it’s baking a treat for an unexpecting acquaintance, leaving a generous tip for your waiter, buying someone a cup of coffee, or befriending someone new. I guarantee once you begin looking, small opportunities to show kindness will present themselves on the regular.

Also note that we have staff here at the college solely dedicated to connecting our students and campus with the community. Stop by our office in SC209 and let’s have a discussion about how your interests and passions can make a difference in other’s lives. With the assistance of the SLCE team, we can help you find ways to connect with your community and give back anytime of the year.
Rachel Scheffen - Specialist, Video Production

About the Expert

Rachel Scheffen - Specialist, Video Production