Service out of Season

December’s holiday season is well known as a time of service and giving, but the good deeds don’t have to stop after the new year.

The charitable frenzy sustained throughout November and December is well documented. According to Jeff Gordy from Neon, a nonprofit data tracker, roughly one-third of all charitable donations occur in December. This attests to the spirit of giving that seems to define the holidays, but then vanishes as the weather gets warmer. There’s a common reason for this: in the cold, we sympathize more with those who are homeless or lack warmth and food. Once we forget about the cold, we don’t think about the needs of those who are less fortunate, even though the need continues year-round.

Here at Bingham, we’re often guilty of forgetting to serve. Shilpi Kharidia, a senior and the president of the Bingham High School chapter of the National Honor Society, has noticed the drop in donations after True Blue. “There’s no ongoing charity,” she says. “Once we’ve ‘done our part’, we feel like it’s done. If we had an ongoing charity where people could just donate… that would help.” The causes that we donate to as a school during the holidays need donations throughout the year, not just during the season of giving.

The best news is that there are a number of ways to help people throughout the year. Joining the service club or the National Honor Society (also known as NHS) here at Bingham can be a great way to address needs within our own school and community. Kharidia appreciates being a part of NHS. “It provides so many service opportunities,” she says. “NHS gives [members] a push to do [service]”.

In addition to joining clubs at school, it’s a good idea to volunteer and take initiative outside of Bingham. Kharidia gives examples of simple things you and your family can do: dedicate money monthly to a cause, donate your clothes, or donate blood. She has also taken time to volunteer at the Intermountain Health Care Hospital during most of high school, so she knows firsthand the benefits of serving throughout the year. “You see how you’re helping other people… it’s a special connection.” she says. She highly recommends signing up for this type of consistent volunteerwork.

This spring, you can experience the same “spirit of giving” as you do throughout the winter months. Look for those in need of some help, or find a cause that you’re passionate about and contribute to it. Service shouldn’t stop when the snow melts.