For many, the greatest way to celebrate the holiday season is to help others.
Ana Hernandez, a sophomore studying sociology, is in charge of the giving tree near the Student Activities office in the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center.
Hernandez said the giving tree has slips of paper with a description of a need of someone in Rexburg. People can take one of the slips, buy the needed item and leave it at the tree.
Kyle Loveland, the volunteer services manager at Madison Memorial Hospital, said there are many ways to serve at the hospital during the holiday season. One way is to play music.
“Qualified volunteers can play on our baby grand piano in the main lobby and on our right piano right of the Med/Surg. unit near our patient’s rooms,” Loveland said. “The purpose of the program is to promote a calming environment for our patients while helping them relax.”
Loveland said the hospital also needs volunteers to talk with patients and tend to their needs. The hospital also needs volunteers to drive the guest cart and to help in the gift shop.
Those interested in volunteering may pick an application from the hospital’s gift shop.
You can also volunteer at the Family Crisis Center during the holiday season.
“Here at the Family Crisis Center, we are always looking for volunteers,” said Diana Palmer, the public awareness coordinator for the Family Crisis Center. “We need help with food banks, receiving items, sorting, putting tags on them, cleaning and handing them out to the public.”
Those interested in volunteering at the Family Crisis Center may visit the Center at 16 E Main St.
Jessica Goudy, a volunteer with Madison County School District’s mobile food pantry, said volunteers are needed for the pantry’s needs.
“We distribute between 30 and 40 thousand pounds of food,” Goudy said.
Goudy said students at BYU-Idaho trying to make ends meet are welcome to visit the pantry. The pantry distributes food on the third Tuesday of every month at Madison County High School.
Some people give service outside of formal volunteer gros.
Tori Smith, a freshman studying exercise physiology, said she celebrates the holiday season through twelve days of anonymous service to people in need in her community.
“Ultimately, just knowing that they start going around and telling people, ‘Oh my gosh, this person left me this gift’ — and you hear it down the grapevine, and you just think that to yourself and smile,” Smith said.