Where to volunteer at Christmastime
Know where to volunteer at Christmas to lift your own holiday spirits
Need a spirit boost during the holidays? Consider where to volunteer at Christmas.
Christmastime is an ideal time to volunteer. Organizations and charities are often looking for extra help to give their clients a nice Christmas. Christmas is a season when it is important to share in the feeling of goodwill for your fellow man, and lending a hand to people in your community can be a lovely way to express this. Volunteering as a family is also a terrific tradition to start and can prevent some of the overly materialistic feeling that sometimes happens during the Christmas season. Christmas is truly about giving from your heart.
Salvation Army bell ringer
We’ve all heard the familiar bell ringing at Christmastime and everyone knows that is the Salvation Army asking for a donation during the holidays. There is sure to be a bell ringing station somewhere in your community. Visit the Salvation Army web site to find locations near you. This is a lovely tradition to start in your family. Bell ringers are always needed for several hour shifts during the holidays. You can volunteer as a family or as an individual.
Soup kitchen volunteer
Most soup kitchens have a special Christmas dinner and may have other special holiday events they need assistance with, such as a breakfast with Santa (if they serve children). This is a wonderful way to volunteer as a family or an individual. Many soup kitchens are also grateful to have food donations during this time. If you would like to help organize a food drive to benefit the soup kitchen, the organization might be very appreciative of your efforts, and this is another way to volunteer your services.
Toys for Tots/toy drive volunteer
Toys for Tots is one of the most popular toy drives for needy children. Run by the U.S. Marine Corps, Toys for Tots has centers all over the United States. To volunteer for Toys for Tots, visit the Toys for Tots web site, look for the Coordinator in your area, and make contact by e-mail. There are other toy drives run by many organizations during the holidays. You may find a smaller organization in your community to assist simply by looking or asking your friends and family. Most need help delivering toys, wrapping toys, and organizing.
Coat drive volunteer
If you live in a chilly state, you know that the weather is not really your friend during the winter months. Imagine going through the winter without a good winter coat—that would be really tough. Volunteering to help with a neighborhood coat drive can be a great way to assist a community organization. Homeless shelters and other social service agencies often hold coat drives during the holidays. This is frequently a time when people are getting rid of an older coat because they have bought a new one.
There are many ways to volunteer during the holidays. You can find many organizations in need of volunteers by visiting VolunteerMatch and also Action Without Borders/Idealist.org. Listings will state whether they are just for the holidays or for ongoing projects. But you never know—you might like volunteering for an organization so much that it could become a regular project for you.
Doing good is good for the soul any time of year!