Everyone wants an ideal holiday.
“Everyone wants to open a present,” Whitney Owen, the director of the Bridge of Lubbock, said. “You’re five years old and you want to come downstairs and see there’s something for you under the tree. And, to not be able to do that would be heartbreaking.”
The ideal holiday does not have to be a gift. Sometimes it is a hot meal or a warm coat.
Around 25 percent of Lubbock’s population was under the poverty line in 2013, according to City Data.
Whatever the need may be, there are a few organizations in Lubbock that help those in need during the holidays.
Owen said there is an influx of volunteers during the holidays, but that there are more opportunities for people to help.
“I think just in general for all non-profits and all agencies there’s definitely a bigger need just because it’s the holidays,” she said.
The Bridge of Lubbock is a faith-based non-profit in east Lubbock that focuses on providing food, clothes and other necessities to those in need.
Lubbock Impact is a similar organization in town. They serve a hot meal to around 300 people every Wednesday. The organization also offers medical care to the uninsured, food vouchers for the Lubbock Food Bank, a clothes closet and spiritual help if wanted.
The voucher can be cashed in at the Lubbock Food Bank for 50 lbs of food each week, Wanda Brunson, the director of Lubbock Impact, said. The voucher cost organizations $6 to purchase.
Brunson said before and during the holidays she gets a lot of calls from people wanting to help out.
She said she always has a few students who need volunteer hours before the semester is over, there are some families who have made a tradition of volunteering during the holidays and she said the holiday spirit draws a lot of people too.
Brunson said they try to include everyone that comes to help out.
“We will find something for people to do,” Brunson said. “We don’t want to turn anyone away that wants to give back or wants to volunteer.”
Every Wednesday around 100 to 150 people volunteer for Lubbock Impact.
During the holidays, Owen said, sometimes the Bridge has to turn a few volunteers away, but she always directs them to a different way they can give back.
Owen said she thinks the increase in volunteering rates is because of schedules becoming more free time.
“So the holidays is when there’s at least a few days in Christmas and Thanksgiving where everything is closed so you don’t have any obligation and you have free time,” Owens said.
Owens said that no matter the time of year, Lubbock is always a giving town.
“I just think this community is super generous and super willing to help people,” she said.
Brunson felt equally grateful for the amount of help Lubbock Impact receives.
“It’s such a blessing for us to be able to do this for people,” Brunson said.