Many holiday traditions in the United States center around food: cookies in the shape of trees and candy canes, rich fudge made annually for friends and neighbors, and a ham on Christmas Day.

As college seniors, my friends and I have had a particularly exciting year as we learn what we’ll be doing after graduation.

However, this holiday season, we should pause and consider that many of us, particularly those of us at the College of Charleston, have opportunities and resources unavailable to millions of young people in the developing world.

Most of us have never questioned that we would have a consistent source of electricity to charge our laptops for papers and to keep lights on for late-night studying. I never questioned having a healthy breakfast before an important exam.

But according to the One Campaign, three million people die per year just from a lack of clean water. Millions don’t have access to basic education and cite food insecurity as a major problem in their communities.

The U.S. works toward ensuring that students around the world have access to the basic resources, so that they may work to lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty.

However, less than 1 percent of our federal budget is designated for foreign assistance, which provides life-changing opportunities for young people like me.

I encourage all South Carolinians to join me this holiday season, and as we move closer to the presidential primary, in telling the candidates campaigning through our state that we care about foreign assistance — that it’s a must on our agenda. They are asking for our support in the 2016 presidential election, so we should ask for theirs on behalf of the millions around the world who need our help.

Raise your voice; let’s put foreign assistance on the ballot.

Ellie Flock

King Street

Charleston