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During winter break college students all around the country return home to see their family and friends. Some students work over the break to earn some extra money and keep from getting too bored. However, one of the best things that college students can do over break is volunteer their time in some way. Below are some great volunteer ideas.

Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, and Food Pantries

Winter is one of the busiest times for food banks and related organizations. Volunteering at these organizations is very simple and makes a big difference for the staff and the people who rely on the organization’s services. If you’re a student who is home for the holidays and you have friends in the area, ask them to volunteer with you.

Clean Up A Local Park

The great thing about cleaning up is that it’s so easy. You don’t need to fill out a form or go through a training program. You just need to show up with a trash bag, a pair of gloves, and maybe a rake. This is another activity that’s more fun when you do it with friends. However, cleaning up on your own can be just as fun especially if you do it early in the morning—that way you’ll get to soak in nature without any distractions.

Help The Troops

Not every volunteer activity has to be spent on your feet. Helping out deployed troops and veterans is another great way to make a difference. The easiest way to help out those who serve is by sending a care package. Operation Gratitude and Give2TheTroops are two sites that make it easy for anyone to donate a care package.

Help Your Family

This last idea might not be a traditional volunteer opportunity, but it’s something that every student home during winter break should think about. Think about some of the ways you can help your family while you’re home. Perhaps your mother or father have a home improvement project that you could help out with. Or maybe you should visit your grandparents and see if they need their leaves cleaned up.

Volunteering is a fantastic way to help out strangers in your community, but the values that you learn through volunteering—kindness, concern, and selflessness—can be applied to all aspects of your life. Helping out your family members is just another way to spread kindness and be a more helpful person.