A City That Gives

Now that Black Friday has come and gone, and you’ve been able to pick up that Vanilla Bean Noel candle along with other unnecessarily necessary items, extend the season of gratitude and giving into the rest of 2017. Here are some ideas to practice some compassion and spread a little love around our city of San Diego and UC San Diego campus.

Local Hands for Global Neighbors

Be a part of International Rescue Committee’s team, whose vision hopes to assist the transition from “harm to home.” For eighty-three years, the IRC has provided refuge to humanitarian crises at different sites around the globe. In San Diego — a major site for refugee resettlement in the City Heights and El Cajon areas — IRC helps with tax preparations, after-school tutoring, and immigration processes. Offer some time or donate to their #givingtuesday fund online. Another way to lend a hand is to participate in the Border Angels’ water drop. This organization places jugs of water around the desert border region between San Diego and Mexico to prevent dehydration as well as provide immigration counseling and advocacy. Check the website for upcoming dates, events and other ways to help.

Food for Thought

With food insecurity affecting nearly 500,000 children and adults in the city of San Diego, Feeding San Diego is a community organization looking to restore resilience and dignity through the distribution of nutritious food. Become an advocate, donate a can or two, or help volunteer to sort, clean, and share food. Or, consider checking out and helping with non-profit The Hub. Hosted at City Heights Coffee House on Monday nights at 6:30 p.m., The Hub hosts a free meal for those in City Heights.

Fulfill Another Wish List

On Dec. 21, head over to the nearest San Diego Fire Department Station to donate toys for this holiday season with the organization Toys for Tots. Make it a communal effort and invite classmates and suitemates to spread some cheer for children in need. Or, consider Rady Children’s In Kind Program by donating toys, books or movies for children who might be spending the holidays in hospitals. Donate on Mondays 10-11:30 a.m., Wednesdays 3-4:30 p.m., or any Friday in December from 4-6 p.m at Rady Children’s Hospital.

Cleaning Up the Coastline

Check out Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego chapter to help with cleaning up the shores we call home. In the past year, 135 beach cleanups took place to get rid of 4,000 plastic bags, 18,000 pieces of styrofoam, and nearly 9,000 pounds of litter. So before hitting the waves, prevent litter from harming marine life and help spiff up the sand.

No time or car to go around San Diego? Opportunities to be a neighbor are aplenty at UCSD. Offer time or food to the Triton Food Pantry at the Old Student Center or leave some snacks in study spaces for fellow students to spread some campus compassion.