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Editorial

Charitable giving should last beyond holiday season

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November 19, 2009

The Student Voice Editorial Board would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the break, visit people who make you happy, recharge your batteries, travel safely and return to campus ready to finish the last three weeks strong.

But as you polish off your second helping of turkey on Thursday, take a moment and reflect on how fortunate you are to be eating that dinner, to be inside someplace warm, to be surrounded by people who love and/or care about you. Reflect on that, and also on the fact that not everybody is as fortunate.

One of the staples of the holiday season has become the street corner bell ringer, complete with a donation jar. In the midst of a season in which we are bombarded with messages of ‘it is better to give than to receive,’ charitable organizations make the most of their opportunity to bank on our yuletide euphoria and collect some extra donations to help feed and clothe the needy.

It is a sad reality that donations of all kinds increase several fold during the winter holiday season. Although it is great that people give up their hard-earned time and money so that those less fortunate can have food, shelter and maybe even a gift for their holidays, once those holiday decorations get packed back up, the giving spirit seems to get boxed along with them.

People need to extend their helping hands past New Year’s Day. Volunteer your time, donate your spare change and do all you can to help those in need all year long, not just during the season of decorated trees and snowmen.

Students here at UW-River Falls are, as the future leaders of America, poised to adopt this year-round philosophy of giving and carry it out to the world. College is called the liberal arts because our time here is meant to liberate us, to give us the tools to think outside the box and break free from the norm. In the case of charitable donations, the norm is to give the absolute minimum, if giving at all, and to do so primarily during the holidays. The Student Voice encourages students to make the norm year-round donations and volunteering.

There are numerous chances just within the city of River Falls to give back and help out. Career Services is a great resource that will assist students and faculty in finding charitable opportunities.

So as the holiday season descends upon us, take a few moments during your three days off school begin to brainstorm New Year’s Resolutions that will better the lives of others, and in so doing, better yours.