By Katharine Dunn Evans
The holiday season is quite possibly the most magical time of the year. Holiday parties, beautiful light displays, cozy evenings by the fire with family and friends and shopping for the perfect gift for everyone on your list. With all that, it is easy to get wrapped up in the excess of the holidays and forget what makes the season so special. It is a time to GIVE, and get joy from your generosity. It is a time to remember the people who are not as fortunate as you. And most importantly, it is a time to be with people, whether they are friends or family, and enjoy the moment.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back, be with the people you care about and help those who are less fortunate. The Junior League of Seattle is a group of like-minded women who enjoy getting together to volunteer their time; this season in particular is a time for the ladies of the League to shine.
The holiday season should be a fun, festive and warm time. Sadly, there are many children in our area that don’t get the opportunity to create happy memories during the holidays. Circumstances could vary; perhaps they or a family member are sick, or their family can’t afford to buy gifts, or even worse they have no family at all. Earlier this month a group of Junior League of Seattle members got together to set up and work at the Harborview Holiday Party for Kids. The Healthy Futures Art Project committee organized a snowman snow-globe craft project that the attendees were able to create and customize. A little over 400 children from the area showed up and participated in the holiday fun! The kids loved the interactive art project and the ladies of the League had a blast helping and watching all the smiles and hearing the laughter.
Another aspect of the holidays that we all love is the food. Even if we go overboard, food is something that brings us together and puts a smile on our faces. Not having enough to eat is a very big problem for a lot of families in our area. The Junior League regularly helps out at Food Lifeline, an organization that provides 82,000 meals a day to local food assistance programs with food that might otherwise go to waste. It is a fun way to get a group of people together to do something that really helps. Much of the work that gets done at Food Lifeline is through volunteer hours! A shift could be filled with sorting donations, uncrating and then re-packaging produce, cleaning, weighing, etc. This past week, a group of Junior League members got together to do just that, and had a blast doing it.
Volunteering doesn’t need to happen just during the holiday season; but doing it with a group of friends right now is such a great way to bring things in perspective when it’s so easy to lose sight of what is important. Not to mention, there is such a huge need. So gather up some pals and go help out an organization that is important to you. Helping those in need this year will only make your holidays all that more special.