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Giving Her Best to Holiday Giving

Thursday, December 22, 2016
Photo of Hanna Button surrounded by gifts.

The holidays offer lots of opportunities to give back. We talked with one young expert, 2014 State Honoree Hannah Button, 16, who shared her insights and experiences about volunteering during the season of giving.

When last we featured your story in 2014, you had initiated a project to provide holiday gifts to sick and injured soldiers and their families, and were helping to raise money for an event that honored all U.S. servicemembers killed in combat since 2001. Can you give us a quick update?

My volunteer work goes on all year long, but it really ramps up over the holidays. We are on our fifth year of "Operation Holiday Heroes" and it is my favorite project of the year. I think when you get familiar with an organization and a group of people, and you get to know their names and faces, and follow their progress throughout the year, you get more connected and want to help even more. 

Is volunteering during the holidays different from volunteering during the rest of the year? 

Volunteering during the holidays isn't that much different from volunteering during the rest of the year, but it is often more busy and fast-paced. For me, it's always important to show up with a good attitude and give it my best, all the time, no matter what time of year it is. 

What’s one challenge you’ve faced with your holiday service, and how have you managed it?

Lots of people are doing projects during the holiday season, so a challenge is trying to stand out amongst all the other projects going on at the same time. As kids, it's about having a big, enthusiastic heart and lots of energy! People love talking to kids who care!

Any words of advice for other students trying to help people out during the holiday season?

I've learned that it is better to bring other kids along with me, especially during the holidays, rather than trying to do it all alone. As the years go by, and the group of kids grows bigger all the time, it gets more fun to make a difference together!