Looking for something to do for the holidays? Students can engage in service oppritunities to life spirits this holiday season.

Tori Amen, Editor

With over 4,000 charities in Las Vegas, students can help deliver holiday gifts in a variety of fun and uplifting service opportunities.

Though international poverty and general lack of necessitates is well known, many don’t know the local need for service. As of 2014, 9, 417 remain homeless in Southern Nevada alone, a 2* percent increase from last year, according to the Southern Nevada Homeless Census and Survey. Not only that, but 28 percent of Nevada’s youth do not know whether they will have food to eat each day, according to USA Today.

Eighth grade student Caitlyn Raymond fells like Christians are called to serve.

“God tells us to take care of others like He served us.” said Raymond.

Service can do more than people realize. It has the potential to really change someone and make their day brighter.

“It lets them know someone cares about them.” said Noah Mitchell, seventh grade student. One does not need to look very far to find opportunities for service. Approximately $, 505 nonprofit organizations exist in Las Vegas. They reach out to a variety of different groups including animals, children, veterans, the hungry, and more.

Many of these charities gladly accept volunteer help. For example, the Las Vegas Rescue Mission accepts volunteers beginning at age eleven to pass out food, gather supplies, run chapel services, and other activities.

However, serving others does not necessarily mean spending hundreds of dollars or going on month long mission trips.

“It doesn’t have to be anything big.” said Chandler Washington, eighth grade student. Small things such as donating a blanket or filling a shoe box with toys can make a huge difference.

Helping others doesn’t even have to include work. Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest is a family friendly event complete with rides, entertainment, a forest of lights, and other fun things to do. Tickets cost $11 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-12; other charges exist for individual rides.

Opportunity Village will use all money made to provide programs for those with various disabilities. These programs help disabled people find jobs and teach them different skills to benefit their life long-term. By going to this event from November 21 to January 4, students are serving because they support the cause this organization works for.

Another options available is to put together holiday baskets for the Blind Center of Nevada. From December first through the eighteenth, the center plans on putting together treat baskets to sell, with the profits going towards supporting their various projects. They need volunteers willing to complete simple tasks such as dipping treats, bagging nuts, and other things.

Serving other not only benefits the needy, but it can also impact the students who served. Service can brighten a student’s day and make them happier overall.

Serving others can also make students more aware of their surroundings. At Faith, most kids don’t know the levels of need that exist around them. By getting out into the community, students may realize what really goes on in the city and how privileged they really are.

TO find other ways to serve, students can visit www.volunteermatch.org and www.greatnonprofits.org.