The Copper Hills community is making service an essential tool to combat the effects of a divided society during this fast-approaching Holiday season. The winter season brings anticipated gift-giving, family traditions – many of which result in full stomachs – and choirs of jubilant children belting the Holiday classics to the excitement of jovial parents or to the shuttering dismay of disinterested siblings. Yet, this joyous season can be anything but the adventure we hope for. Loneliness and the lingering effects of tragic family disputes can turn the season into a bitter blizzard of animosity.
“Instead of focusing so much on yourself, focus on others,” said Kaden Eichelberger, a CHHS senior. “If you’re looking outside of yourself and you’re looking at how you can help others, you’re going to be a lot happier. It’s going to affect you. It’s going to help you.”
To combat your winter blues, join in the service of others. Humanitarian service not only changes the lives of those we serve, but ourselves as well. Eichelberger said that service changed his view on life. This summer, Eichelberger went on an international humanitarian trip for over two weeks to serve the people of Costa Rica. Prostitution is still legal there, and the country’s poor economic state gives girls few ways to avoid falling victim to exploitation. During his trip, Eichelberger assisted in building a safe house fence for sexually trafficked girls. He said that the extent of poverty he saw in Costa Rica gave greater meaning and purpose to his service. He explained, “It felt good to be giving back to the country after seeing how poor they really are.”
Eichelberger also commented on how he felt when he took two weeks to build a fence, despite not being able to directly see the direct result of his efforts. “Honestly, I was super happy the entire time, because I felt like when you’re serving people, especially all day everyday, it just makes you happy.” For him, service appeared to create an atmosphere of joy and kindness. Plus, it was a lot of fun.
If you’re committed to increasing your acts of service this season, Copper Hills provides many service opportunities to help you get started. The school’s National Honor Society provides projects almost weekly for students to participate in. Other clubs, such as WISE, Go & Do, and the Interact Club, often have donation drives, kit making, and other opportunities for students to give back to their community.
During the month of December, the school puts on a community-wide service event: Paws for a Cause. Clubs, sports teams, students, and faculty join together to raise money for families in the Copper Hills community. Fun activities, money donations, and assemblies are used to raise money. Last year, thousands of dollars were collected and used to support families in the Copper Hills community. .
If you’re looking for a more flexible opportunity, the seminary participates in a Light the World project, which allows each individual the choice to participate in an act of service each day. For other opportunities, reach out to your local food bank, assisted living center, or volunteer organization. If you’re feeling motivated, you can even carry out a service project of your own.
This list may look insurmountable and overwhelming, but don’t worry; service opportunities come in all shapes and sizes. You can start small by smiling to someone new each day or writing a thank you note to your favorite teacher. “[Service] doesn’t have to be something big like going out of the country,” said Eichelberger. “It can be something in your everyday life where you see a need and you help them.”
If you’re in need of a change or an extra smile, serve others. Make this Holiday season one to remember, not because of the gifts you receive or the decorations you put up, but because of the joy you feel by serving and giving to others.