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A student’s thoughts on charity

By Betsy Webster

As we enter November, I immediately jump to the conclusion that 2015 has furiously come to an end. Such conclusions may be a result of being a nostalgic senior who’s about to exit my four years in the limbo of life that is undergraduate education, but I’d like to believe that I’m not the only one feeling the fast-forward button being pushed on 2015.

Halloween has come and gone, and in a flash you’re preparing Thanksgiving supper. Before you know it, there are Christmas trees for sale and the Square is ablaze with lights and Holiday merriment. It is this rapid progression that causes one to inevitably reflect on the past year.

In my personal reflection, I recognize that taking part in the Mississippi Day of Giving on Oct. 24 undoubtedly made an impact on the way I view our community.

I have lived in Mississippi for almost four years and have always been aware of the close-knit community the state so famously advertises. However, on Oct. 24, I not only saw, but also felt why people refer to their fellow Mississippians as their “neighbor.” The Day of Giving demonstrated everything that is great about this community. Mississippi has the unique ability to make an entire state feel like a small town, a rarity in a time when personal connectivity seems like fairy tale only our grandparents once understood. The Day of Giving brought an entire state together in one day to support the nonprofits that continually strive to make this community what it is.

Therefore, during this rapidly progressing time of year, I use my reflection of the Day of Giving to look forward. I’ve come to recognize that at the core of this neighborly community are the nonprofits that strongly, but silently fight to maintain such connectivity between Mississippians. So, as we’re rushing toward the year’s end and find ourselves filled with holiday spirit, remember the nonprofits that make a difference every day in our community. A gift to organizations such as the United Way or Arts Council who wide range of programs and services impact our community for an entire year. An hour of your time with Volunteer Oxford could give your neighbor that sense of community you hold so dear. Being a senior, I know there is a good chance my time as a Mississippian could very well be coming to an end, but the lessons I learned here as a volunteer I will take with me wherever postgraduate life may lead. So, I urge you to join me during this year’s end, and continue keeping this state uniquely wonderful.

For more information about how to give a gift or get involved, you can learn more about the Yoknatapatawpha Arts Council at www.oxfordarts.com, United Way at http://www.unitedwayoxfordms.org, and Volunteer Oxford at http://volunteeroxford.org.

Betsy Webster is a University of Mississippi student and can be reached at etwebste@go.olemiss.edu.