Students have local volunteer opportunities

Ross Whitaker

You can give back this holiday season by participating in any of the following opportunities:

The Salvation Army is employing bell-ringers to ask for donations at local businesses such as Walmart, Kroger and the mall. Call (270) 843-3485 for information.

The Salvation Army also sponsors the children of local low-income families through the Angel Tree. Participation helps provide presents to children who would otherwise receive very little. Call the Salvation Army or find a local Angel Tree to participate.

Due to budget restraints, the Angel Tree had to impose a maximum age of 12 this year, instead of the previous cutoff at age 18.

The Vision Council is making up for the 13- to 18-year-olds with a project called Teen Angels.

Teen Angels accepts monetary donations or gift cards that will be given to local low-income teenagers. Donations can be dropped off at the WKU ALIVE Center as well as other places in the community. For more details, contact Nancy Booth at (270) 781-0903.

Toys for Tots is looking for new, unwrapped toys that cost about $10 to $15. Contact John Kiraly at (270) 303-1916 for more information and toy drop-off locations.

Local Kroger stores are sponsoring a Food Bag program from now until the holidays. Participants can buy bags worth either $6 or $20 filled with nonperishable food. The bags will go to local families in need. Call Kroger at (270) 780-1695 for more details.

Potter Children’s Home and Family Ministries has several opportunities to help out.

On Dec. 4, there is a holiday bazaar with all proceeds going to help the children’s home.

On Dec. 7, there will be a Tuesday’s Treasures yard sale.

Potter Children’s Home also has a wish list for children who live there. For more information on sponsoring a child, call Geneva Brewer at (270) 843-3038.

You can also help those in need while shopping for family and friends by buying from retailers that donate to other organizations.

For instance, TOMS Shoes sends a pair of shoes to a needy child for every pair bought at the store, and benefits ACORN and Southern Poverty Law Center and Students for a Free Tibet.

Local churches and schools often accept donations for families in need, too.

Source: The WKU ALIVE Center