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Neighbors in Need

Although playing in the snow is always a winter favorite, one of the best activities I did during the winter at McDaniel was volunteer at a program called Neighbors in Need. I was interning at the Human Services Program in Westminster at the time and I heard of this opportunity through them. They had set up a “store” in an empty building that families who could not afford Christmas gifts could come and pick out presents for their families. The building was filled with donated clothes, toys, books, and other gifts. Human Services Program also bought several new items that the families could choose from. My job as a volunteer was to be one of Santa’s elves for the day. I would walk around the store with one of the family members and help them pick out what they wanted to get for each person. Each member of the family was allowed a couple pieces of clothing, hats and gloves, a book, some toiletries, and an additional gift; actually children were able to have three toys and a stuffed animal! I helped about 10 people that day and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was so happy to help moms, dads, and grandparents choose gifts, and to learn a little bit about their families. It was a wonderful feeling knowing I was apart of making their holidays joyful. Neighbors in Need was one of the coolest programs I had ever heard of and I was so happy to have that opportunity. It was a great break from finals as well! Unfortunately I was unable to do it again this year, but I heard they were doing it again and I hope it was successful! That is one of the best things about going to college in a community like Westminster, there are several volunteer and community service projects that you can join. So if you want a chance at being an elf, I would definitely recommend Neighbors in Need! It will make your winter and Christmas experience much more bright :)

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