Practice of giving impacts communities


Freshman Ava Boucher is donating a book to the book drive NHS is organizing.

Gabby Walter-Ortuño, Staff Writer

Scrambling and squeezing through the sea of people at the store, freshman Kaithyln Pagulilgan finds herself stressing over getting holiday gifts for her loved ones. During the holidays, many often stress and forget why we celebrate. According to Harvard Health Publishing, giving brings people and communities together and builds strong relationships.

“I realized that people are more focused on getting or receiving presents from a loved one, myself included, but that’s not what really matters,” Paguiligan said. “Spending time with your friends and family, cherishing the memories made and making other people’s holiday, or just life better in general is what counts.”

Even though people see giving as just a gesture, it has a lot more meaning since it impacts not only the givers life, but the entire community. According to the Central Carolina Community Foundation, when one gives, it inspires others to do the same and sets off a chain reaction, causing a long term result of giving which in turn benefits the community as a whole.

“People kind of underestimate the difference someone can make by helping others,” freshman Kaithyln Paguiligan said. “Giving can really bring people closer together because it allows us to be more empathetic and compassionate.”

Giving is not only beneficial for the recipient, but those who give may also see personal and health-related improvements According to the Cleveland Clinic, some benefits of giving include an increase in self esteem, a reduction in blood pressure, a decrease in stress levels and more. 

“I’ve learned to be very grateful because I know a lot of people don’t have the resources to be able to experience the holidays like other, more fortunate people,” junior Vivian Nam, who is the co-president of fundraising for DECA, said. “Things in my pantry that I don’t necessarily need can make a huge impact on someone else, so being able to give just makes me feel very grateful and happy to give back to the community.”

Some ways to contribute during the holidays might include participating in fundraisers and charity events, volunteering or just participating in random acts of kindness.

“My church and I are raking leaves from people’s yards and using the money we get to buy a bunch of things to give away to people in need,” freshman Jack Evans said. “I just really like to help out my community because it makes me feel good knowing that I’m helping others.” 

Many clubs and co-curricular classes are also organizing charity events, fundraisers and drives to try and help out others in need. For example, Leadership is hosting a wrapping paper drive while the National Honor Society is doing a book drive.

“[DECA is] doing a food drive for the holidays,” Nam said. “We’re thinking of collecting items from students and then giving [them] to local pantries.”

Doing little things like watering a neighbor’s plants when they’re out of town, picking up litter on a walk or calling a friend or family member to say “hi” are just a few ideas of random acts of kindness one can do. When more and more people give back to those around them, even if a small deed, kindness can spread and help develop a more positive environment according to the Mental Health Foundation.  

“Holidays are about warmth and family, and I just think it’s important to help people who don’t have the resources others have,” Nam said. “Providing things like food [to others] can be a real help.”