Give during the holidays

ItâÄôs the end of the semester, and students are no doubt looking forward to their hard-earned and well-deserved winter break. Between the time that classes end today and the beginning of class on Jan. 20, students will have 960 hours of time to themselves. No doubt, more than a few hours will be spent studying for finals, a couple more on holiday shopping and, hopefully, a healthy investment in holiday merrymaking with friends and loved ones. But while you budget your hours, consider giving over a small portion of your time to charitable causes. Even though the end of the year typically produces a surge in charitable giving, the countryâÄôs tough economic situation has hit donors hard as well. Organizations like Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army, along with local food shelves, are struggling to meet the needs of our nationâÄôs less fortunate, and you can help them. While it would no doubt be appreciated, your support doesnâÄôt have to simply be material. Help stock a food shelf or distribute donations. Put on your Santa hat and be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. If you go back home to visit your parents, rummage through the attic and see if there are any toys or articles of clothing that you are willing to relinquish. If it can still be played with or worn, the chances are good that someone will take it. Although tarred as apathetic and disconnected, our generation has proved itself to be anything but. More than 22 million 18- to 29-year-olds across the nation showed their resolve this campaign season by coming out on Election Day to vote. If every student who voted their conscience let that conscience come out once more this year, this holiday season would undoubtedly be a happy one.