Throughout the year many of us are so focused on our own ups and downs that we may miss seeing the struggles of others. Finding ways to serve others is always a good way to put things in perspective. A few times each year, the JL Architects family seeks opportunities to give back to our community. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it’s one of the easiest times to get involved. Around the West Chester area, many organizations can use our support, whether it’s in the form of a monetary donation, or simply our time.
There are several organizations that offer meal-based services. Meals on Wheels accepts volunteers for delivering meals and visiting with homebound seniors. West Chester’s Safe Harbor needs volunteers for a variety of roles – cooking meals, help running fundraising events and coordinating evening programs for shelter residents.
If food drives are of interest, the West Chester Food Cupboard is always in need of donations, and from our experience, appreciates donations at times other than the holidays as well. They accept everything from nonperishable food, to personal care and hygiene items, to produce. If a monetary donation is easiest, they accept 1-time donations, scheduled monthly donations, and even grocery store gift cards. The West Chester Food Cupboard also accepts volunteers over the age of 18, if donating time sounds good.
Since it is the holiday season, many local charities offer gift-giving programs that benefit an individual child or an entire family. Some offer toy drives, coat drives, while others like the YMCA have adopt-a-child programs for Christmas. The YMCA provides the age, gender, and basic likes/interests for a child in need, as well as a wish list of things the child would like as gifts. For a group of people looking to get involved, adopting a child is one way to share the experience while making a memorable Christmas for a child in need.
Regardless of the motivation, whether it’s through work, church, our families, or just as an individual, there are countless ways to brighten a stranger’s day during the holiday season. Today’s service just may lead those we help to helping others tomorrow!