Opportunities to give back to this winter break

The school year is a crazy, busy and hectic period for a lot of students. It’s a time when bank accounts run low and energy levels run even lower. However, there is a magical time. The streets are blanketed with snow and houses are decorated from head to toe in twinkling lights. It’s known as Christmas break. During this special time of the year, students have a chance to enjoy time with their families and forget about school for a couple of weeks. With classes ending particularly early this year on Dec. 1, it leaves some room for students to do something fulfilling and fun this holiday season. Here are the top eight fun and festive places you can volunteer this winter break.

1. BC SPCA

What better way to warm your heart and lift your spirits after a long and stressful semester? Puppies, kitties and rabbits will do that and the SPCA has them all. They are currently looking for people to foster animals and volunteer at their downtown location. You can visit their website at spca.bc.ca/locations/kamloops to apply.

2. Snow Angels

Snow Angels is a program that matches you with a senior in your area who needs their driveway and sidewalk cleared of snow. Volunteers have 24 hours to clear the snow when needed and, as an added bonus to your good deed, you will receive a free Domino’s Pizza coupon. If you are interested in helping out someone in your neighbourhood, you can call Grace LaBossiere at 250-372-8313.

3. Snow Removal at the hospice

The Kamloops Hospice Association in Sahali is also looking for people to help remove snow from walkways, driveways and sidewalks that line their property. Volunteers are welcome to have hot tea, coffee or hot chocolate. It you are interested you can call Pamela Young at 250-372-1336.

4. Operation Red Nose

Operation Red Nose is a service that looks to get everyone home safe after Christmas celebrations. Volunteers are needed to drive partiers home in their own vehicles and Red Nose still requires 155 more drivers to reach their goal of 250 volunteers this year. Apply if you are over 21, have a valid Class 5 driver’s licence and a good driving record. Escort drivers, who bring the volunteer team to the call location and follow the client vehicle home must be over 19, have a valid class 5 driver’s licence and access to a vehicle. Fuel costs are reimbursed. They are also looking for navigators 19 and over. No driver’s licence is required to be a navigator. Phone operators, dispatchers, promotion workers and refreshment overseers are also needed.

Help is wanted on Dec 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 26, 28, 29, 30 and 31. If you want to be a part of the volunteer team you can contact coordinator Katie Klassen at 250-320-0650 or 250-828-3346.

5. New Life Kamloops

Volunteering at a soup kitchen is a classic around the Christmas season. New Life Community in Kamloops is looking for volunteer kitchen workers on any day of the week. Volunteers will help prepare lunch, kitchen clean up, perform prep work and serve meals. They are also looking for volunteers in a variety of other areas; the dining room, working at Thrift City and in their Outreach Clothing Room, depending on your skillset. You can call 250-434-9898 or email volunteer@newlifekamloops.ca to start serving up some festive cheer.

6. Out of the Cold

St. Paul’s Cathedral is looking for volunteers on Wednesdays and Sundays to assist shift captains with members of the community who seek food and shelter. The volunteers will work with people who may be homeless, are dealing with substance abuse, have mental health concerns or are simply down on their luck. Shifts run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. and 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. If you’re interested, call Mark Hyslop at 778-362-8977 or 250-315-3350 or email him at mark_g_hyslop@hotmail.com.

7. Camp Out for Homeless Youth

Domino’s Pizza and the United Way have teamed up to create a camp-out on Dec. 15 to support homeless youth without a warm place to sleep at night. They are looking for 12 volunteers to hand out pizza, handle cash and hold signs at the Domino’s on the North Shore. They are looking for six volunteers between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and another six between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Katherine McParland at 250-320-7837. You can also get involved in this event by camping out, pledging for someone else to camp out, or purchasing a $10 Hawaiian, Cheese, or Pepperoni pizza from Domino’s using the online order code YOUTH.

8. Raise money for your charity of choice

There are many great organizations out there who need financial support through donations. As a student, you may not be able to make a donation yourself but pick a charity that speaks to you and find some fun ways to raise some money this holiday season.

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