Delivering the good this holiday season

Advance Auto PartsThat’s right. Our beloved road warriors do play a pivotal role. In this case, I’m referring to a car’s main purpose: transport. During the holidays when I’m behind the wheel, I’ve balanced out ferocious trips to the mall with trips of the more soul-enriching kind: delivering driving services for senior citizens. I look forward to my volunteer opportunities—a couple hours a week doing driving services for senior citizens to the supermarket, doctor appointments, even senior-center bingo games! There’s no better way to participate in holiday charities.

My girlfriends wondered how I’m so naturally happy during the holiday hustle and bustle, knowing I co-own a local foodie business while raising a family. They accused me of seeking refuge at day spas! I told them I tapped into a better source of fulfillment: volunteer opportunities. The time, I give in offering these driving services for senior citizens was my key to being naturally happy. Holiday charities just aren’t for sale at the mall.

My husband couldn’t agree more with volunteer opportunities being my holiday secret for happiness. So he devised his driving services for senior citizens plan, only for homebound seniors. During the holidays, also for a few hours a week, he transforms himself into a deliveryman of food and coats collected by local charities for those seniors.

My town has an infectious ability to rally up and come together. Volunteer opportunities are no exception. I’ve since discovered many local shops now reach out specifically to seniors. A few auto shops, to encourage senior citizen driving safety, placed flyers at the senior center for complimentary oil changes and safety checks during the holidays. Cooler still, upon finding out about us “Santa Elves” who take part in senior-citizen holiday charities, those awesome repair shops have since offered up those same services to us for the holidays, too. What a wonderful way to create volunteer opportunities while reminding us which shop to drive to when we need our next car repair or service!

Even my daughter participates in holiday charities when she’s home from college. Instead of doing driving services for senior citizens, she sets aside a small slush fund from her holiday job helping me out in the shop. With it, she uses the Advance Auto Parts Holiday Gift Guide for inexpensive yet indispensible ideas. Windshield wiper fluid, car air fresheners (Christmas-tree shape, of course), motor oil quarts and more find their way into the basket. She tops each with a red ribbon then distributes them to those repair shops providing seniors with freebie holiday services and asks them to include these as gifts for the seniors, too.

It’s never too late to create and customize your own holiday charities, like our driving services for senior citizens. Soon, you, your friends and neighbors will discover the secret for happier holidays (and how easy, fun and fulfilling it is to participate in volunteer opportunities). It certainly happened in my town.

Editor’s note: While you’re doing your part to help others this season, be sure your ride’s in top shape. Advance Auto Parts can help. Text “HOLIDAY” to 36898 to check out our latest deals and savings offers. Up to 5 messages per month; message & data rates may apply. —JK

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