Corny holiday music, lights lining the frames of houses and, bell ringers from the Salvation Army ringing in front of stores all signal the arrival of the holiday season.
This is a time where people succumb to gorging on food and splurging on gifts. But some people spend the holidays helping their community.
There are many opportunities to volunteer on the Palouse to spread some holiday cheer.
There are three food pantries in the Moscow area–the Trinity Baptist Church and Saint Mary’s Church both sponsor food pantries which are open throughout the week. Opportunities Unlimited provides food boxes throughout the week too.
Additionally, a coalition of nonprofits called the Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse has a large range of nonprofit members who do a variety of charitable events that include donating books to children of limited-income families to saving baby sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean. People can go online and purchase donations and when a donation is purchased the nonprofit will give a card stating what the buyer has done for their cause. They honor the donation to a friend or relative specified by the buyer. This can make a great gift for someone who is passionate about supporting a cause or may happen to love sea turtles.
Kara Wimer, an employee at the Humane Society of the Palouse, said they are also a member of the Alternative Giving Market and are planning many events in the month to come.
“We are always wanting volunteers,” Wimer said. “We put our volunteers on the schedule if they want to walk the dogs or take them outside to play fetch or hangout with the cats. Giving them some one on one time is a huge benefit.”
Wimer said they are planning a Christmas raffle which will be going on till the weekend before Christmas. People can buy raffle tickets for a chance to win treats and gifts for their pets. She said the Humane Society has a Christmas tree down at Eastside Marketplace covered in ornaments containing slips of paper with items written on them that the Humane Society needs — such as cleaning supplies.
Another Humane Society event is Pet Pictures with Santa and will be put on at Eastside Marketplace on Dec. 7. All the proceeds will support the shelter, Wimer said.
There are many other charity and volunteer opportunities available in the Moscow community.
The Alternative Giving Market has 30 other nonprofits, Wimer said, and they can be found at www.agmpalouse.org. Each nonprofit is different than the other and each is seeking support from their community.
Whether buying a child a book, releasing baby sea turtles into the Pacific or volunteering at the Humane Society, volunteers and supporters are the core of what helps these organizations serve the community during the holiday season.
Bryce Delay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org