Lily’s Advice for Winter Volunteering!

By Lily Tiarks


Hi, folks. We may already be at the end of February, but sadly winter may be here for some time yet. For those of you who grew up in frigid climates or have already been volunteering outside, you probably have learned a lot of this already! For those of you who are new to this, though, this is for you.

  1. Dress warmly! The temperature last weekend dropped to -40 degrees with wind chill. Frostbite is real and it can happen to you. Your hands, neck, and face are often the parts of you most susceptible to wind, so make sure you have a hat, gloves, and scarf.
  2. Layers! In case the temperature rapidly changes to 50 degrees, which can and (unfortunately) does happen.
  3. Leggings under your pants. For whatever reason, the legs always get the least love in terms of protection against the cold. Wearing tights, leggings, or long underwear under your pants can help with this tremendously.
  4. Wool: I recommend it. Unless you’re a vegan or can’t wear wool for other reasons, in which case there are many good substitutes available.
  5. Carry lip balm and travel packs of tissues with you. Winter is often very dry, and cracked lips and running noses are the unpleasant side effects. If you don’t have either of these items, University Health and Counseling Services, located on the first floor of the Forsyth Building, often has them available for free during the winter!
  6. Beware of germs! If you are working with the public, and especially with children, remember that winter is cold and flu season, and young children in particular are adorable little germ factories, so stay safe!
  7. Icicles. They fall off of buildings. They are large and dangerous. Just, you know, glance upward from time to time, and you should be good.

Stay warm and safe, and let’s all hope for a lovely springlike March!

Lily is a member of the Service-Learning Street Team.

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