Christmas! Such a magical time for us and our families. Back home we have traditional candy making day, we cut down a Christmas tree, and we curse the weather for all the snow it brings us! Christmas is a time for family gatherings. I am a person who always looks forward to the holidays. I love the joy of giving to others and I am someone who can feel the Christmas spirit. This is my second year in Bangkok and even though while I listen to “Oh let it snow!” while I’m walking in the heat of Bangkok I still happen to smile from it. It’s kinda funny.
For those of you who are struggling right now, I just want to send “warm wishes” to you that you can find the happiness of the Christmas season while you are here. It’s unquestionably going to be a transition for you but if I could do it then I know you can! I think one of the main things about Christmas is finding the joy and love in your life no matter what the circumstance is. How we can find joy is by helping others so I’d like to share some ideas with you on how you can spread the Christmas cheer to the people in Bangkok because the greatest gift you can give is your time.
There are multitudinous volunteer activities to partake in. I hold the belief that helping others truly can make you happy. If you are wanting to help those in need then you should pay a visit to Bangkok School of the Blind. They take volunteers of any age and gender. You can volunteer to teach a subject such as English, French, Chinese, or Japanese. If you don’t want to teach you can always volunteer by reading books and recording your voice on CD. There isn’t a fee for volunteering, as I know some organisations require you to pay a fee to volunteer. You can volunteer for any amount of time and all you have to do is contact the school by phone
02 354 8365-68 or email [email protected]
Another superb volunteer opportunity would be to volunteer as an English teacher for the Duang Prateep Foundation. I volunteered there for three months last year and can say that it was one of the best experiences of my life. If you are a native English speaker or your English level is high than you can teach English. The programme has already been created so no need to do lesson planning. You will first observe lessons to understand the method of how the lessons are delivered and then you will meet with another volunteer on the days you teach. The children’s ages range from 4 – 7 years old. They will leave a special place in your heart, as they did mine. If you are ready for fun, singing, and a chance to make a difference in a child’s life then check out http://dpf.or.th/en/ and click on volunteer. You can find all the information on the website.
If English teaching doesn’t appeal to you or you feel it isn’t your strength you can instead volunteer to help our furry friends. What better way to enjoy the holidays than to pet and spend time with kitty cats! PAWs mission is to create a smaller and healthier street and community animal population in Bangkok and Thailand. They provide services and vaccinations to street animals. They need volunteers to spend time with the cats and help get cats adopted. Another heavenly thing they do is provide education to the community about pets. Education is key to help the animal population here. They have a facebook page where you can contact them about volunteering and to keep up with recent events at the shelter. Animal lovers beware! You will become addicted to kitten cuddles.
If you can’t find the time to volunteer, each organisation I mentioned accepts donations. Also you can find at each Starbucks they have donation boxes for donating books. Even if you don’t have any books lying around Asia Books or B2S is a great place to purchase books to donate. Hey, while you are at Starbucks you might as well enjoy a holiday drink! They currently have three festive drinks out now. I recommend the Christmas tree peppermint dark mocha. It tastes like Christmas.
There are so many ways to give. I think Christmas brings out the best in us. Christmas can be tough being away from home and from our families but helping others in need can really lift your spirits and can lift up others as well. The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.