Owls are nocturnal creatures, but we can be full of light too!


Natalie McLaren, Eyes on Owls Editor


During a season with a little less merriment due to the pandemic, we’re all looking for some light. Whether that be from decorating our trees with lights and ornaments or sitting by the warmth of a fire on a nippy winter night, the little things this Christmas will bring the greatest joy. The traditions we have practiced and kept up with over the years have kept us preoccupied for so long before the pandemic even began, and now the traditions are starting to fall away because of what’s happening in the world. Like it or not, some of us just won’t feel bright and merry this season. Maybe someone has been lost to the pandemic or the lucky-13 vibe of 2020. Maybe it’s still mourning the loss of normalcy, or getting tired of wearing a mask.


But wait, there has to be an answer. We can’t sulk around all Christmas long, there’s a joy to be brought, we’ve had it all along (see the rhyming I did there?)! And it all starts… drumroll, please!


With……… YOU!


Yep, you heard me right, YOU can be the start of the joy this season. But this joy doesn’t come from watching a good Christmas movie or eating your share of Christmas Cookies. No, this joy comes from something much deeper, much more significant than that.


This joy is the joy of giving back.


Think of all of the populations in the world whose lives are taking a serious toll during the pandemic. I can name a few!


  • Healthcare workers
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Performers
  • Nursing Home Residents


Wait a second. Nursing Home Residents, you ask? How might they be suffering? Well, think about it. These lovely individuals have to stay shut into their homes and facilities because the risk of catching Corona is way too large and likely to play around with. Their social interaction is limited so much, that according to a nursing home near me, they can only leave the facility for doctor’s visits. Imagine how lonely life must feel for them.


Okay, now that I’ve got you sad enough and maybe a little bit heart-broken for these poor seniors, let me provide you with an answer to the problem. It’s 4 words, are you ready?


Beacon Virtual Student Outreach.


This program was designed by five high school graduates that wanted to impact their community somehow through a virtual environment, in order to remain safe and protected from the virus. It started up in the summer of 2020, and after a few months, the program had over 100 volunteers. But here’s the catch; because so many of the volunteers are college kids, they are busy busy busy! SO, we need YOUR HELP!


So many seniors are struggling to find reasons to stay positive, hopeful, and focused, looking towards a brighter day, and we can be a part of the optimism that these lovely human beings need in a time of great joy.


What does Beacon Virtual Student Outreach (VSO) do, you ask? Many things, my dear owl, many things. They put together musical performances, bible studies, and one on one calls with the residents to connect them to the volunteers and build long-lasting friendships that can start to blossom and grow over just a few calls! By doing a call or two a week, you would be changing lives and seeing the faces of people light up from seeing faces! It’s totally free, and it’s 100% fun.


How can you get involved, you ask? Speak no further! I have your answer. The program has expanded and grown to a sizable community of willing volunteers, which means new and innovative changes are taking place! I, Natalie McLaren, am starting a branch of Beacon here at iUPrep, and to make it happen, we need YOU! These residents want to see volunteers that are willing to give time to bring them joy during this season. If you want more information, commitment-level FAQ’s, or want to sign up for this branch, PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW! It’s an all-access google form for iUPrep kids to sign up with!


iUPrep, we can be a part of the joy that the world needs. And it all starts with you. So are you ready to bring joy to the world?