Every year, during the holiday season, our local church asks for a few volunteers. They spend each day for a few weeks working downtown at the local shelter. They donate a few hours to serving food to those less fortunate who are staying there. It’s a gratifying experience. I like to spread some cheer and generosity during the holiday season. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and give something back to the community. There are many different areas to help out. From food preparation to general maintenance plus laundry services, there are jobs to do. I am glad that there is a place like this for those who need it. One of the best features about the shelter is that it offers a place for people to warm up on colder nights. It doesn’t usually get terribly cold in the local area, but this year was different. The temperature was below freezing for several nights, so the shelter stayed full all that week. Fortunately, they have a pretty a reliable gas furnace heating system which keeps the place warm no matter what. People who need it have a chance to get out of the cold and snowy weather. Doesn’t matter if they are staying overnight or just passing through. Everyone is welcome. The place is free and available for as long as they need. For those who are staying there more permanently, donated blankets are given to children and mothers first. Any extras are up for grabs. The shelter really is a necessary option for those who are in darker times. I am looking forward to helping out again next year.