Ever since I can remember, Christmas has been my favorite time of year. Spending time with family, making cookies and decorating have always made the holidays special. Receiving presents was always a highlight when I was younger, but as I’ve grown up, I have come to realize that giving is much more important than receiving.
This year, I volunteered as an elf at the USLI Children’s Holiday Party, assisting with taking pictures of the children with Santa. There was also cookie decorating,face painting, gift giving and even a showing of the Nutcracker. Some community members brought their own kids or grandchildren, while others, including college help, volunteered their time by hosting students from USLI’s local partner schools in Philadelphia. Knowing that I helped kids who may not usually get the same holiday experience I had growing up warmed my heart. Seeing all the children interact with Santa and open their gifts made me remember why the holidays are such a special time.
I am so glad I decided to volunteer my time and give back this holiday season. Not only was it a rewarding experience, but it was one of the best ones I’ve had at USLI.
Written by: Natalie Hedegard