I'm still naive enough to believe that this time of year can, and sometimes still does, bring out the best in people. Call it the "Scrooge Effect", if you like. You have the opportunity to look back over a year of perhaps your less than empathetic treatment of others and you find yourself wanting to be better.

The Helpline Center is a place that strives to connect people with each other and with the assistance they need. In doing so, they offer all of us the opportunity to become better versions of ourselves by helping someone else.

Here is a shortlist of the volunteer opportunities available this week:

  • Center of Hope/The Community Outreach - Their Sharing Christmas program matches families in need with donor families who can help with everything from household items to gifts for children. The Sharing Christmas program met thousands of needs last year and would like to do the same this year with your help. There are openings for data entry helpers, delivery drivers, Christmas store assistants, and more.
  • Salvation Army - Needs volunteers to pick up Angel tree gifts in the Empire Mall and deliver them to the warehouse site. There are a few requirements you must meet and you'll be on your way. Call Marcie Priestley for more information at 605-332-2331, ext. 108.
  • Children's Inn - The traditional Gift Wrap Booth in the Macy's wing of the Empire Mall will be up and running from Friday, December 4 through Christmas Eve. Volunteers are needed to wrap gifts. You must be 18 or older and will be required to wear a mask and follow other health protocols. For more information and to volunteer, call Staci or Melissa at 605-338-0116.

For more information on these and so many other volunteer opportunities, call the Helpline Center at 211, or see Helpline Center online, and on Facebook.

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