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Make Your Week: Ways to volunteer in preparation for the holiday season

By Jen Riess, KSL.com | Posted - Nov. 17, 2019 at 7:03 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — November is a month where a lot of people take the opportunity to show their gratitude by helping others in preparation for the holiday season.

The KSL.com "Make Your Week" column features uplifting stories sent in from people outside the newsroom.

This edition features two ways you can help your local community and some inspirational elementary school students who nearly ran their local banks out of loose change to help their classmate.

To share the stories that have made your day better, email them, preferably in 100 words or less, to jriess@ksl.com. Photos and videos are encouraged. Stories may be edited for clarity.

More Make Your Week:

Opportunity to help the homeless in Pioneer Park

Jason DeGraw, founder of Addicts Fighting Back, and goes to Pioneer Park every Sunday to give the homeless warm clothes and food. Helping those who have to live out in the cold has a personal tie for him, as he lost a close friend about a month ago in Provo due to exposure to cold temperatures.

"We are having a soup dinner December 1 at 4 p.m. where we will be serving warm homemade soup and handing out sleeping bags, hand warmers, hygiene kits, anything they might need," DeGraw said. "We are teaming up with Addict to Athlete for this event.

"We are trying to spread the word that we are here to help them in any way we can, and we will continue to show up on Sundays to help provide the things they may need."

Manila Elementary empties banks of pennies for 5th grader with cancer

Pennies may be hard to come by in Pleasant Grove, but it's for a good reason.

"One of our 5th graders found out this year that he has cancer and is not able to attend school for the rest of the year due to his treatments," said Haley, a teacher at Manila Elementary. "Our school decided to have penny wars and raise money for him in order to help him pay for those treatments.

"We are overwhelmed by how much our community has done to donate and support the family. We have heard from multiple moms and students that a lot of the banks around our area are completely out of pennies, and students have been going door to door to ask neighbors for change in order to donate more. We were touched by this example of kindness."

Give a helping hand with Utah Highway Patrol

"The Utah Highway Patrol will be visiting Primary Children's Hospital during the holidays and we could use your help," reads a post on the organization’s paget. "We give a stuffed animal to each child we visit and we depend on donations to provide those.

"If you're willing to help out, you can drop off new and clean stuffed animals or characters to the following locations during the month of November; Monday-Friday during business hours."

The drop off locations include:

**1. Weber County UHP, 461 Stewart Street, Ogden

  1. Davis County UHP, 631 N, Lagoon Drive, Farmington
  2. Salt Lake County UHP, 5681 S. 320 West, Murray
  3. Salt Lake Community College UHP, 4365 S. 2200 West, Taylorsville
  4. Utah County UHP, 763 N, 1370 West, Orem**

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