WORDS BY LIZ KING/IMAGES BY TUMI MPHAHLELE
Yoga can be a lot of different things depending on the practitioner. It can be a physical and sweaty practice, daily meditation, mindfulness throughout the day, intentional breathing, and so much more. Practicing yoga in these various ways doesn’t have to be just an internal practice. Another extraordinary part about practicing yoga is going out there and being of service to others whether that is through teaching (I’m looking at you teachers, parents, and role models), doing a favor for someone, or simply being present with a friend who is going through a hard time. Since this is the season of giving, here are a few suggestions on how you can be of service to your community right here in Denton during the holidays.
Our Daily Bread has been preparing and delivering thousands of meals to those in need since June of 2000, serving on average about 206 meals per day. Since their doors have been open, they have served 556,474 meals to the hungry! The coolest part? It’s basically all volunteer run. Collectively, volunteers log in over 25,000 hours every year to fill the stomachs and needs of Denton’s hungry. Volunteers are part of the entire operation ranging from “food preparation, delivery, and clean-up, pick-up of donated food, health services by a physician and registered nurses, office assistance, assistance with fund-raising and grant writing, social services referral programs, special services, and many other necessary activities.” How cool is that?! It’s super easy to volunteer for and there are multiple volunteer time slots so there will virtually be something that meets everyone’s busy holiday schedule.
There is an orientation required if you want to volunteer in person but it is relatively short and they have orientations twice a week so it should be a breeze to swing by and get it done. If you’re interested, check out their website, look at their requirements, and volunteer! Still too busy to donate your time? No biggie. You can donate money directly to the organization. There is a link at the bottom of their website.
Denton County Friends of the Family is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. They do all this while partnering with our community to promote safety, healing, and prevention. Volunteer services can range from volunteering at the thrift store, helping with child care, or even providing maintenance and shelter up keep. Unfortunately, their last volunteer orientation was in November but don’t let that stop you from looking into volunteering in the New Year. In the meantime, donate to and shop at the thrift store! Not only do all proceeds go straight to funding the organization but women and families who are being assisted through the Friends of the Family program are given vouchers to use at the thrift store. Think outside the box, too! Comfy clothes and t-shirts are always welcome but consider donating that work blazer or those nice slacks you don’t wear anymore. Professional wear that could be used for job interviews and more could be really beneficial too. Your donations are going directly to families and women.
Y’all, this is just the cutest little thing that is making a big impact! You can sign up to have a little free pantry built on your property and you and other sponsors will keep it stocked with non-perishable items. How it works is exactly as it sounds. It’s a little free pantry where anyone can walk up and grab what they need. But that means anyone can walk up and donate items as well! It’s super easy, requires hardly any time at all, and doesn’t involve having to socialize with strangers if that isn’t your thing. Check out their Facebook to see what fun Denton’s Little Free Pantry community is up to.
To get a list of all the downtown Denton Little Free Pantry locations and an extensive list on what kind of items the pantries need, check out the Serve Denton link above. What an awesome and yet another way Serve Denton is serving up some community goodness through their different programs. To see other amazing project Serve Denton organizes, click here!
Hooray for more Denton-based, non-profit thrift stores! Twice As Nice is a non-profit organization that supports Woman to Woman Pregnancy Services Center located here in Denton. Woman to Woman provides services for mother and parents placed in unintended pregnancy situations such as pregnancy verification, consultations, ultrasounds, STD testing and treatments, birthing and parenting classes, and more. All that comes with ZERO cost and service fees to the patient. This is an incredible organization that is also changing lives every single day. You can support them by volunteering, donating, and shopping at Twice As Nice Resale. All proceeds from Twice As Nice directly support the pregnancy center.
You can sign up for a four hour shift where your skills will be greatly appreciated, even if you have no retail experience. Feel free to donate clothes and furniture to the store and perhaps even become a store intern! If you’re interested then don’t hesitate to contact them if you’re looking to volunteer or treat yo’self to a shopping spree and feel good knowing your dollars are going to mommas across the county.
Obviously, there are plenty of ways to get involved and make a positive impact on the Denton community we love. Which is so great! And if there are any other organizations you know of that I didn’t include above (there are a ton!) then go volunteer with them! Don’t put all of this pressure to save the world on yourself though (eh-hem, fellow perfectionists and type-A’s). Make this a fun, social thing. Get a group of friends together to drop off stuff at pantries or shop at a non-profit thrift store. Make donations! Volunteer for a shift at Our Daily Bread and physically see the impact you are creating. Being of service to others is a great way to live your yoga and create a loving, uplifted community that we can all enjoy. So get to it! Namaste and Happy Holidays!