The Holiday Season’s Gift to the World

Giving back to the community is high on the priorities of individuals during the holidays


Photo courtesy C. Hutchins

Thanksgiving bags filled with canned goods line the walls of Valhalla. Students contributed time and money to fill these gift bags so families in need would have food on Thanksgiving.

Will Eaton, Co-Editor in Chief/News Editor

From November to January, the spirit of giving in any community is often raised due to the holidays accompanying those months. Thus, many feel the need to give back to society, as society had given a lot to them. In Spartanburg in particular, there are many ways to engage in community service and satisfy that need to help the community when it is most needed.

Service available in Spartanburg ranges in variety and scale. One can give back in a massive monetary donation or a single service hour put into work in the community. Thanksgiving offered a great deal of service necessary to help the flow of the community. Whether its donating food or giving up hours of one’s own time to help at the soup kitchen, service is always regarded highly. Sam Mitchell (9) enjoyed helping his church with Thanksgiving activities this year. He plans to continually help to make an impact any way he can to make Spartanburg a better place.

“I donated food to a pantry for Thanksgiving this year,” Mitchell said. “It made me understand how thankful I am for what I have, and that everything I receive in life should be taken in with gratitude.”

Mary Margaret Crocker is an adviser for National Honor Society, a group dedicated to service in the community. Besides the Thanksgiving festivities that have already commenced, Crocker described activities relating to other holidays in December and January.

“There are many opportunities to volunteer with Dickens of a Christmas downtown and the Nutcracker play,” Crocker said. “The Spartanburg Soup Kitchen is also always looking for volunteers and can be very busy in the winter months.”

Offering a more hands-on way of giving back, members of the Viking family also “adopted” children within the District 7 community to sponsor for the Christmas season. Students, teachers, parents and clubs sponsored children ages birth to teen as a way to give back and make the holiday special.

“As a new teacher to SHS, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of our students, faculty and staff. Thanks to their efforts, 60 children will wake up happy on Christmas morning,” Spanish teacher and project coordinator Kylie Painter said.

Student Council coordinates the efforts by assigning wish lists and then loading up the trucks with gifts to be delivered to those children in need. Student Council adviser Chris White is proud of the efforts of the Vikings. “I have been at Spartanburg High School for 40 years and we have continued the tradition of helping those in need. It is always with pleasure that we extend a helping hand to the children in Spartanburg to make sure they have a wonderful and exciting Christmas,” White said.

The holidays are often associated with giving gifts, and to a good majority of people there is no greater gift than bringing a smile to a community or a group of people. Spartanburg High students are always encouraged to pursue these activities to give back to a city that has given so much from the beginning.