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A final request

December 10th, 2009

Last week a fellow graduating CN staffer asked me how I planned to handle my final column. At the time, I really hadn’t had a chance to consider a topic.

So, as I sat down to write, I looked outside at the crisp, bright snow melting as it hit the ground. It made me remember why I love the holidays (with the exception of commuting in the snow, of course).

As my grandma would say, if everyone was as nice as they were during the holidays, the world would be a much better place. So, instead of giving you advice on how to get the most out of college, I want to ask for a favor.

The holidays are a time of giving. I’d guess that every student at John Carroll has at least one thing to be grateful for this year. So, think of all of the ways you might be able to enrich someone else’s year.

The other day, I stumbled upon something in my Facebook feed that made me take a moment to remember what’s important in my life. Above a call for donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, my cousin’s post read, “The family stayed here when Rosie was sick – it was a blessing to be so close to the hospital and not have to pay for a hotel room.”

My cousin Rosie passed away several years ago at the age of five. She was outgoing and she loved to dance. She died of a rare form of brain cancer that there was no specific treatment for at the time.

For that reason, every time I get a letter in the mail asking for a donation to a medical research fund or if someone at a department store asks me if I’d like to donate a dollar to help a charitable cause, I always give. Even if it’s as little as a dollar, someday it might help cure someone like Rosie.

The favor that I am asking of you is this: do something to help someone this year. Donate to a cause, volunteer at a hospice center, participate in a food drive, or just simply say “yes” the next time you are out shopping and a cashier asks if you’d like to donate a dollar to an organization like St. Jude’s or the Ronald McDonald House.

It doesn’t take much on your part, but you could make a world of difference in someone else’s life. There are plenty of organizations at John Carroll that I’m sure would be happy to have your help. Last year I spent the day with a fabulous little boy at Circle K’s “Through the Eyes of a Child” event, and this year I plan to spend Christmas Day helping to feed the homeless for Labre.

During the holiday season, when you’re surrounded by family, friends and everything that you are thankful for this year, remember that there’s always someone that’s less fortunate than you. The smallest gesture of kindness or support can go a long way.