Service adds to spirit of Christmas


    By Scarlett M. Barger

    Students can make a difference in the lives of others by taking some time to serve.

    Students naturally want to help others more in December because of the Christmas spirit, said Yancy Zimmerman, 18, a freshman from Sandpoint, Idaho.

    The Jacobsen Center for Service and Learning provides service opportunities for Christmas and all year long, he said.

    Students who want to stay on campus can help put together final’s week survival kits from December 4th through 6th, said Todd Hendricks of the BYU Alumni Association.

    Zimmerman said there are several programs that allow students to serve in the community.

    Through the Access program, BYU students can be role models for children. The Impact program accomplishes a similar purpose, but matches BYU students with high school students, he said.

    Project Read, where BYU students can teach adults how to read and write, is another effective way to help the community, he said.

    Liz Eyring, 21, a junior majoring in early childhood education from Bountiful, Utah, said local care centers have asked for students to visit the elderly.

    Provo City has also requested assistance in decorating city streets and parks, she said.

    The Sub for Santa program provides food and gifts for needy families, said Kristin Smith, 20, a junior majoring in community health from Arlington, Tex.

    The program is sponsored through BYUSA, she said. Students can contact coordinator Heather Sandberg or e-mail the program volunteers for more information at , Smith said.

    If students would rather give a gift to just one person, they can participate in the Angel Tree program, she said.

    In this program, children fill out a card with information on what they want for Christmas and hang the card on a Christmas tree, she said. For more information, students can go to the Angel Tree in the ZCMI shopping center, she said.

    The Food and Care Coalition and the Salvation Army could use help as well, but students should call the organizations first to find out what their needs are, Smith said.

    BYU students are usually very helpful with service, but it’s important to keep serving year-round, she said.

    Sometimes students cannot continue projects because they must go home between school term changes, but when possible, they should strive to keep their commitments, she said.

    For more information on projects, students can visit the Jacobsen Center in 2010 WSC.

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