Volunteer opportunities during the season of giving

Palouse offers many ways to serve the community year-round

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RACHEL SUN | The Daily Evergreen

Gerta MacDonald helps recipients at the Moscow Food Bank. Volunteers plan to start putting Thanksgiving baskets out on Sunday for the upcoming week.

BLAINE ROSS, Evergreen columnist

Every year during the holiday season, we seem to change ourselves as human beings, reverting back to the inherently good state we were born in. Working together to make our communities better through our philanthropic efforts through cleaning up our neighborhoods, gathering goods for the needy and making our country better through human service.

The Palouse is a perfect place to help restore the good in our community during the holiday season because there are so many opportunities to do so between Pullman and Moscow.

Examples of different service events that people can engage in here on the Palouse can be found on CougSync through WSU’s Center for Civic Engagement. Two more great ways to get involved with the Palouse community are by joining a sorority or fraternity or by joining a service-based organization on campus or off campus. A few of these types of organizations are the United Way, American Red Cross, Cougar Safe Rides or Families Together for People with Disabilities.

One local place that could use our help as a community is the St. Mary’s Food Bank, which is a place of refuge for many people not only in the Moscow community but the Pullman community as well.

The Moscow Food Bank, run by St. Mary’s Catholic Church, is open from 2 – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and is located at 110 N Polk St. in Moscow.

I spoke with Linda Nickels from the food bank, and she gave some info on what the food bank needs, how to donate to the food bank and how people can come help the food bank.

Lately, the food bank’s stock has been doing well, but during the summer, it can get drastically low, Nickels said.

“We were low because it’s the end of summer, and there haven’t been any food drives, but there was a Boy Scout food drive and one from the University of Idaho’s College of Law. The only thing we could really use is more time in a day. Thanksgiving things like fruits, vegetables, dressing and yams. Your typical Thanksgiving stuff.”

Some of the things Nickels said that volunteers could do at the food bank are help hand out, bagging and sorting groceries. People can donate food anytime the food bank is open, she said.

“A lot of people just bring [the food by], but some people call if they’re having a food drive to see what kind of things we need,” Nickels said.

Beyond the food bank, there are plenty of different volunteer opportunities ranging from Greek-led philanthropies to CCE activities or even outside organizations. The CCE is a good start for people, however, encourage yourself to get out in the community and find your human service niche.

Don’t forget, people can give back to their community any time of the year and not just during the holiday season.

Blaine Ross is a freshman music education major from Montesano. He can be contacted at mint@dailyevergreen.com.