Cold weather and soup go hand in hand. I don’t think there’s a better meal than hot soup on a cold evening. However, during the hectic holidays, it’s harder to find time to make soul-warming food. Luckily, there are others who can help.

Downtown Shenandoah, Inc. can make your life a little easier for meals with its monthly soup sale held the second Thursday of each month through March. The next sale will take place from 10 a.m. to sellout Dec. 12. Choices may include New England clam chowder, pasta fagioli, chicken noodle, split pea, kielbasi, chili, beef barley and potato cheese. Pints sell for $3 and quarts for $6. Sausage hoagies may also be available for purchase for $3.50 each. Order in advance to ensure you get your favorite soup by calling 570-462-2060.

Lessie’s Garden Greenhouse and Gift Shop in Pottsville is ready for your holidays needs. They have an assortment of affordable wreaths, swags, cemetery boxes, holiday snack baskets, poinsettias and more.

The Pottsville Free Public Library is hosting a John O’Hara short story contest. Children ages 5 to 10 are invited to design a bookmark about something in their community. Children ages 10 to 14 can write a short story about their community using O’Hara’s technique of naming places in such a way that you knew what they were, like Tamaqua becoming Taqua. Those 15 and older can write a short piece based on his stories, such as a prequel or sequel. Entries are due by Dec. 14. Winners will be announced on O’Hara’s 115th birthday on Jan. 31. For more details, visit the library.

Community Volunteers in Action is the volunteer center for Schuylkill County. Use the preceding contact information for those specific opportunities and search other listings on our website at Find us on Facebook. Call us at 570-628-1426 or email