Lending your time during the holiday season can be an especially rewarding experience. Volunteering is a great way to network, take a deeper dive into a specific issue area, or acquire new skills. And it may come as no surprise that volunteerism increases 50% during the holiday season, as people seek thoughtful ways to contribute and meaningful activities to do with alongside friends and family. There are usually many ways to volunteer during the holiday season.
Below is a list of some excellent holiday volunteering opportunities, and if you don’t see any in your area, there are plenty more to explore right here on Idealist.
Meals on Wheels, San Antonio, TX
Meals on Wheels is a nonprofit in the U.S. that offers various services to seniors, including home visits, delivery of home-cooked meals, and connections to community services. Requests for meal delivery services have recently increased in the San Antonio area. Volunteers are needed to help with food distribution. Not in the San Antonio area? There are different opportunities to volunteer nationwide.
PATH, San Diego, CA
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) helps unhoused individuals and families find permanent housing and provides services to help maintain housing stability in the San Diego area. Individuals can volunteer remotely to knit or crochet hats and scarves for unhoused individuals and families through December.
Actors Theatre Workshop, Inc., New York, NY
Actors Theatre Workshop, Inc. is a nonprofit theatre and educational institution teaching theatrical techniques and principles to children and young adults from different walks of life, including unhoused children and incarcerated persons. There are currently several volunteering opportunities available such as assisting with donations of goods and services for events and helping with holiday decoration removal in January.
Catholic Charities, Washington, DC
Catholic Charities (Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.) provides community services to individuals and families in need throughout the D.C. area and five surrounding Maryland counties. Recurring volunteering opportunities to help assemble free food packages are available. Interested in singing holiday tunes to bring good cheer? Sign up to be a Christmas Caroler! You can also help with holiday clean-up in the New Year.
Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Community Food Bank is a nonprofit working to fight food insecurity. Services and programming include local food pantries, community kitchens, and school breakfast. Atlanta Community Food Bank has recurring volunteering opportunities to help with various tasks, including sorting and packaging donated food, repackaging produce or grains for families, and boxing nonperishable items for seniors.
Sharing Tree, Moore, OK
The Sharing Tree provides a no-cost shopping experience for families in need in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Families can attain free clothing, household items, and necessities. The Sharing Tree is seeking volunteers for their Christmas Connection program to assist shoppers, stock shelves and clothing racks, or collect donations.
Salvation Army, Vancouver, Canada
The Salvation Army Boundless Vancouver helps families and individuals in Vancouver and Burnaby, Canada. They provide necessities to families in need, such as emergency winter clothing assistance and access to healthy food, as well as youth mentorship. Through December 22, Salvation Army Boundless Vancouver is hosting its Christmas Toy Shop to help provide holiday assistance for low-income families living in Vancouver. Volunteers are needed to be a Christmas Toy Shop Elf to greet families, organize and sort toys, and assist families with selecting age-appropriate toys.
Clicked one of these volunteering options only to find that they’re no longer available? To keep you apprised of the latest in social-impact opportunities, all listings on idealist.org have a predetermined expiration date.
If you’ve missed the boat on any of the above listings, don’t forget to explore our latest listing to find holiday volunteering opportunities.