Giving Back During the Holidays!


Casey Chang

Helping makes our community stronger!

The holiday season always places an emphasis on giving to others, and this year, it is increasingly important to think of communities who were hit hard by the pandemic. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to give back during this time.

Amador’s Interact Club is a community service club dedicated to volunteering and helping nonprofit organizations. This December, they are hosting a movie night to raise money for their community project.


“It’s important to recognize what we have even in the most difficult times and reach out to those who are less fortunate and struggling,” says Nicole Ju (‘21), co-president of Interact. “All of our proceeds will go towards United Way Bay Area to help with COVID relief. Interact emphasizes our communities, and while our actions may not have a global impact, it is just as important to contribute to locally because our actions do make a difference.”

Interact is working with Foothill’s Interact Club, and coordinating this movie night has taken a lot of collaboration as it is the first time they are hosting an event of this kind.

“Since we are still all quarantined, we had to get creative with our fundraising ideas as we can no longer meet in person or distribute products that could potentially spread COVID. This virtual movie night was a good idea to make sure everyone can still participate safely from their own homes,” explains Ju.

Another organization that promotes community service is Open Heart Kitchen, and they serve hot, nutritious meals to people in need. Recently, their services have been particularly important.

“Unfortunately, the need for hunger relief is growing in the Tri-Valley and across our nation. The rate of food insecurity has risen by nearly 5 percent in Alameda County from 9.1% to 13.9% in just two years. We prepare and serve approximately 800 meals a day through our various programs across Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore, ” says Becki Mathers from Open Heart Kitchen.


However, Open Heart Kitchen’s impact is not limited to serving meals; they have a span over several cities and have adapted their services to help improve the standard of living for people struggling during this pandemic.

“Open Heart Kitchen has recently teamed up with Tri-Vally Haven and Alameda County Community Food Bank to provide free groceries in Pleasanton, 2 days a week. Our services are open to anyone in need in the community. In addition to providing food, our Street Outreach Program also provides essentials for those who are currently unhoused. This includes items such as blankets, socks, and hygiene products,” reveals Mathers.

This year has been challenging in many different ways, but these organizations that focus on giving back to their community provide not only living essentials but also the hope that people still care and that things can get better. 

The Salvation Army 

The holiday season is the perfect time to support charities such as the Salvation Army. eighty percent of donations go to homeless shelters to help those who have great hardships.

“We use the donations to support local shelters, rehabilitation centers, and food donation pantries,” said a respondent from Salvation Army’s ‘contact us’ line

Furthermore, they have multiple ways you can help. The salvation army gives the most to those who need it the most. The salvation army often works at the front line, sup


porting those in poverty, who have needed more and more help with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Salvation Army accepts donations from food to money to clothing or even just your time,” said the respondent

The Salvation Army has seen lower donation rates by up to fifty percent. This is happening when the program needs to provide for 155 percent more people according to the salvation army website. They speculate it is due to unemployment rates and more online shopping caused by Covid-19. With those struggling with unemployment at an all-time high, and support for them at an all-time low, we should do the best we can to support those who need it!


Another non-profit in need is the good-will store at Livermore. The good-will organization donates eighty-six percent of its earnings to create jobs and drop training for those that are less fortunate. This is valuable now, especially when the corona pandemic has brought unemployment numbers from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020.


“ We do our very best to support the homeless here and give back to those in need,” said the manager of the Livermore Goodwill

The foundation holds thrift stores with used, lower price items and local donation banks to fund its activities. 

“You can support us by making donations at the local donation center or donating directly on,” said a respondent on goodwill’s hotline

We should look back upon the year, appreciate what we have, and take the opportunity to help those who are less fortunate. Through these life-changing experiences, it is important that we as people take the time to appreciate what we have and get in the spirit of giving back to the community.