Service during the holidays

A look into service opportunities that showcase Carmel values.

Students volunteering at Beacon Place.

Students volunteering at Beacon Place.

Throughout the year, Carmel offers a variety of service opportunities to help students complete the required amount of hours every year. However, even Laura Budris, Director of Christian Services, can’t deny that during the Christmas season, service is different. 

“In the Carmel community, there is definitely an element of that spirit of Christmas that is so alive and well in our community, and it’s neat to see the way our students share that spirit of Christmas,” Budris said. “It’s the appreciation for the gifts that we have, and that we can share.” 

“I have learned to have respect for all my material goods,” one featured student reflection from the class of 2020 said. “Because they have been made similar to how I crafted games for disabled people.” 

This was a good opportunity to serve the community and interacts with children and their families,” another person from the class of 2022 said. “This was the first time I volunteered at the Beacon Place, but I enjoyed being there. I am already signed up for two future activities.” 

For Budris, volunteering goes beyond meeting the required amount of service hours every year. 

“It’s our goal for service to become part of your life in some way,” Budris says.  “Identify strengths and interests and how you share them with others. This is the element of service that a student really has to do some seeking on their own.” 

Students volunteers packing food.

Even though service hours sometimes seem tedious, and there are other things you would rather do, Budris said there’s nothing like witnessing a student experiencing the joy they’ve given to another person.

“One of the things that I love is when students have such a strength and a gift and they can contribute and see the fruits of that labor,” Budris said. “Whether they’re working with kids and see the happiness in the kids or visiting and singing the elderly and seeing the Christmas joy on their faces. For many students, that’s beyond just getting the student requirement.”

While the Christmas season is coming to an end, Budris encourages everyone to keep updating their X2VOL accounts, and to be ready for more service even after the holidays are over. 

“Don’t forget, Street Scenes is right around the corner!”