Students must provide to less fortunate this holiday season

Merely a week into December, winter is here. Yuletide caroling fills the air, candy canes adorn evergreen trees and holiday motifs are omnipresent. In other words, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. In the midst of this, however, we should not lose sight of the charitable spirit the season demands of us. This holiday season, Tulane students must take advantage of the city’s many opportunities to give to the less fortunate.

For many students at Tulane, New Orleans is simply the backdrop for college life. That isn’t to say, of course, that our lives are confined to the Uptown campus. We attend the endless festivities, ride the charming streetcars and lose ourselves in the Big Easy’s famed nightlife. Moreover, during the holiday season, our minds are often preoccupied with thoughts of family and finals.

Nonetheless, we maintain an obligation to charity, especially during the holidays. For many of us, December is a month of abundance, yet for others this is far from the case. As of 2013, 39 percent of New Orleans children are impoverished. In light of this sobering fact, the holiday season must awaken our latent altruism, provoking a philanthropic spirit in each of us.

Luckily, New Orleans offers numerous opportunities to dedicate one’s time and energy to others this month. For instance, the New Orleans Mission’s Annual Christmas Luncheon, on Dec. 21 this year, provides food to the homeless. At the Dec. 23 Mission’s Annual Toy Giveaway, in true Christmas spirit, volunteers furnish toys to the impoverished.

Likewise, the Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans, which organizes soup kitchens, pantries and shelters, prepares thousands of meals for both children and the elderly. Thus, a few hours of volunteering or even a donation are vital to enriching another person’s holiday season.

For those who will not have the opportunity to personally volunteer this season, there are many other ways to make a difference in someone’s yuletide. Catholic Charities New Orleans, for example, allows people to adopt a family’s Christmas wish list. As a result, one can directly ensure a family is not deprived of any necessities for the holidays.

In two weeks, we all will have returned home for the holidays, enjoying a deserved break from the endless anguish of college life. Until then, however, we owe it both to ourselves and to New Orleans to look for ways we can give unto others, especially in a city which has similarly given to us.

This is an opinion article and does not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo. Nketiah is a sophomore at Newcomb-Tulane College. He can be reached at [email protected].

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