Photo by Nick Youngson via The Blue Diamond Gallery


Have you ever wondered how you could give back to your community right here in Columbia, Missouri? It’s easier than you may think, especially during November. There are tons of giving and volunteer opportunities at this time of year. As we celebrate the things we’re thankful for, we also have the opportunity to show generosity to those who have less.

Grayson Cottages is hosting a food and clothing drive through the month of November. Details on that, plus other volunteer opportunities, are listed below. Check out all the ways you can make a difference this November.


Donate Winter Clothing to Clothe Those Without

Stop by the Grayson Cottages office and drop off any gently used winter clothing during all of November! Donations of long-sleeve shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets, hats, scarves, and gloves can help ensure that everyone in Columbia stays warm this winter even if they don’t have the financial resources to purchase the items on their own. All the clothing donations will be given to Truman’s Closet, a UM student organization that provides clothing to those in need.


Donate Nonperishable Goods to Feed the Hungry

Grayson Cottages is also collecting nonperishable goods for Tiger Pantry, a UM student organization that provides food assistance to those in need within the University of Missouri community. Some of their most needed items include hygiene products, dry pasta, rice, pasta sauce, mac and cheese, canned tuna, canned chicken, boxed meals, and canned beans. Donations can be dropped off at the front desk in the Grayson Cottages office. Learn what donating a single can will do in terms of making a difference in the video below.


Give Blood to Save a Life

Donating blood is the most precious gift anyone can give to another person because it’s the gift of life. Give blood or plasma this November at a local donation center, such as the American Red Cross or Plasma Biological Services. According to the American Red Cross, someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds! That could be due to illness, injury, surgery, or another health need. Those who need blood can’t accept blood from just anyone — they have to be matched. So, it’s important that people with a variety of blood types donate. If you have type O negative blood or type AB plasma, your donations will be especially valuable because these types are considered universal and can be received by almost anyone.


Giving Blood, Photo by Senior Airman Shane Karp via Wikimedia Commons


Be a Mentor to Guide Youth in Columbia

KLIFE is an interdenominational Christian ministry that provides fellowship and community for kids. It functions primarily off college student volunteers. Having a mentor and spiritual guidance as a teen can make the difficult adolescent years much more bearable. Volunteers donate their time to organize events, trips, retreats, small group bible studies, and one-on-one mentoring. They also help with fundraisers, such as the annual KLIFE dodgeball tournament. You can get involved by filling out a volunteer application and completing the requirements listed here.

If you can’t give back in any of these ways, be sure to check the University of Missouri’s home page or the Columbia Parks and Rec website about volunteer opportunities on campus and in the community. Make someone else’s holiday season better by giving back and volunteering!