It seems to begin every year around the same time the holiday shopping and volunteering commercials start to air and wraps up right after Christmas.
The Food Bank of East Alabama “average[s] between 25 to 40 volunteers a day” during the months of August, September and October, according to Michelle Held, the program's volunteer coordinator at the food bank.
“November had a big increase as students were trying to finish their course required hours,” Held said.
Even though November saw an increase in volunteers for the food bank, the number of volunteers decreased as the semester came to a close.
“In December, our volunteers drop drastically due to students leaving town,” Held said.
In contrast, the Salvation Army of Lee County has a different experience during the winter.
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“The number of volunteers during the Christmas season is way over a hundred,” said Annabelle Tsui, the organization's director.
This varies greatly from their typical, “four to five volunteers per week.”
Both Held and Tsui said their respective organization sees variation in their numbers during the holiday season.
For the Food Bank of East Alabama, the number of volunteers depends on University students, and it “tend[s] to see more volunteers come back by the middle of January after winter breaks and traveling," Held said.
Held spoke of the Salvation Army's need for volunteers.
“Hunger in our seven-county service area is a year-round issue, and we are always in need of volunteers since we pick up from grocery stores each day of the week,” she said. “There is always need for volunteers here, and we look forward to working with them here.”
Tsui shared the same sentiment.
"Volunteers help us lower our personal expenses, which gives back to serve the community, serve people in need," Tsui said.
Despite the giving season
Tsui and Held both emphasized that Auburn University students make a difference, and they encourage students to find the time to go out and make a difference in the community.
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