Winter, a Season of Giving

Generosity in Elkhorn during the holiday season.


Photo by Cameron Mead

Dominick Rhone and Mitchell Baker collecting money during lunch for Womenade.

Classic American traditions during the holidays consist of endless baking, spending quality time with family and friends, and commonly overlooked, giving back to society. Selfless acts, like paying it forward and donating to a coat drive for the cold winter months, are just two examples of easy ways to spread kindness and joy during the holiday season. Many people at Elkhorn North give back to the community. 

“I go to the Food Bank for the Heartland almost every Saturday and help out with different tasks,” junior Raenna LaFleur said. “Sorting food donations, packing up food in boxes, and packing up bags of food for the backpack program which gives food out to kids who can’t afford to eat on the weekends.” 

The thought of some children not having any food available at home is absolutely heartbreaking. Repercussions of coronavirus left parents job-less, and families with very little income to live off of. Every second spent volunteering at food banks or even donation places, helps a lot. 

“It’s only on Saturday’s for two and a half hours in the morning and I have the rest of my day to hangout with friends or do homework or work,” LaFleur said. 

Taking a very small portion of the day, volunteering leaves a great impact on the less fortunate and doesn’t take a lot of effort. 

“My family and I do a few things over the holidays, like buying Christmas gifts for families that are in need, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, and from time to time I pay for the next person in line in the drive thru at Starbucks,” Science teacher, Nicholas Davis said. 

Random acts of kindness are nice and generous deeds that a person does to brighten someone’s day. It can be something small like complimenting a person’s smile, or something bigger like paying for someone’s meal. 

“It transforms our perspective because when we do these random acts of kindness it makes us realize how grateful we are for the people in our lives,” Davis said. 

Random acts of kindness are an opportunity for self reflection. The question is, “Should I buy this for myself, or should I give someone else the opportunity to enjoy this?” The first option half-pleases a person because they got what they desired, but realize that they could’ve used their money for something or someone else. The second option, however, pleases two people; a stranger is surprised with an unexpected gift and the giver feels good for making someone happy.

“There have been a few times when I was in line at Starbucks and someone bought my coffee. I felt very thankful and it changed my whole mindset for the day,” Davis said. 

Being the recipient of strangers’ generosity is easily one of the best experiences, and can really turn around a bad day. During the holiday season, the amount of giving back increases dramatically.  

“People are more thankful and they want to give back to people who are less fortunate,” sophomore Hailey Hearn said. 

One of the main reasons the winter season is the best is because of all the warm-heartedness that is spread throughout the world. 

“I’ve had people, if I’m feeling down, they’ll come bring me food,” Hearn said. 

Apparent in today’s society, the world needs to spread more positivity and love and the holidays are a perfect time to start. Just the smallest deeds can help a family or single person through a hard time. It’s very easy to make someone’s day better and doesn’t have to cost money!

Ways to spread joy this holiday season:

  1. Donate to a local charity
  2. Volunteer at a food bank 
  3. Make holiday cards for neighbors, friends, strangers, etc.
  4. Compliment strangers
  5. Help elderly
  6. Volunteer to wrap presents
  7. Bake cookies for a small business
  8. Make Thank You cards for teachers, officers, etc.
  9. Offer babysitting to busy parents
  10. Hand out Christmas treats 
A thank you card for the Elkhorn Grandview Middle School bus driver. (Photo by Cameron Mead)

With cost

  1. Buy a coat for a homeless person
  2. Pay for a family’s Christmas presents
  3. Pay for someone’s coffee 
  4. Send a care package to a person in service
  5. Buy Thanksgiving dinner for someone
  6. Buy games/toys to donate for a child organization