Best Places to Volunteer this Holiday Season
The holiday season is a busy time for many people. With so much shopping, socializing, cooking and traveling, it can hard to fit in time for much else. But we encourage you to stop and take a look around you – especially at people and places in your community that may need some assistance.
Volunteering is a great way do donate your time and talents to help others in need. It’s also a great way for families to teach children that there are more than just presents to worry about during the holiday season, while also creating new and meaningful traditions. Here are some of the best places to volunteer during this holiday season.
City Wide Club – In addition to its Thanksgiving Day Feast, City Wide Club host other annual events, including a Christmas Eve Feast at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Volunteers work in shifts in the morning and afternoon serving traditional hot meals and assisting thousands of people who receive clothing, shoes, blankets, flu shots, medical care, food baskets and many other much-needed resources. If you can’t make this event, you can still help by donating canned foods, home goods or toys.
The Holiday Project – Get in touch with your crafty or creative side to brighten the day of local nursing home residents. The Holiday Project distributes approximately 2,000 Thanksgiving cards and 3,000 Christmas cards to those living in assisted living and nursing facilities. The handmade cards are in a variety of sizes and many contain drawings, pictures, stamps, collages and/or words of encouragement. You can also volunteer to visit nursing homes and help to distribute the cards and visit with residents.
Houston Food Bank – Food drives are fun and easy ways to work together as a family to help others in need. At the Houston Food Bank, which distributes nutritious food to more than 800,000 individuals, children as young as age six can volunteer alongside their adult guardian. Kid-friendly projects include inspecting and sorting food, packing food into family-sized bags, and stocking the Emergency Food Pantry. You can also help by donating money or hosting your own neighborhood or school food drive, and donating those non-perishable items to the Houston Food Bank.
Jingle Bell Express – Held annually in December at the Christian Community Service Center, Jingle Bell Express involves hundreds of volunteers who work together to supply 2,500 children and their families with new toys, books and holiday food. Help is needed registering clients, organizing toys, setting up the store and helping parents select toys.
Meals on Wheels – Bring your kids along when you volunteer at Interfaith Ministries’ Meals on Wheels. This program provides over 10,000 holiday meals to homebound seniors in the Houston area and provides some extra holiday cheer. You can also help with fundraising or volunteer at the distribution site, help with set-up, check in with delivery drivers and assist with clean up.
Other Great Volunteer Opportunities:
- A Mother’s Sanctuary
- Adopt-a-Family with Houston Children’s Charity
- Books Between
- Citizens for Animal Protection
- Grace Care Centers
- Kids Meals Houston
- KSBJ Giving Tree
- Operation Shoe Box
- Ronald McDonald House
- Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.
- Toys for Tots