Volunteering embodies the spirit of the holidays. It makes you feel good about yourself … and looks good on your resume and college applications. Plus, it can fulfill high school or college community service requirements to boot.
Let’s take a look at five ways you can get involved during the holiday season.
1. The Salvation Army. If you have ever been to a grocery store in December, you’re familiar with the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle program. A holiday tradition for more than 100 years, volunteers for the Red Kettle program collect donations, then distribute Christmas dinners, clothing, gifts and toys to thousands of needy families in hospitals, shelters and nursing homes across the country. Find out how you can volunteer for the Salvation Army, either on the collecting or distributing side of the program.
2. Toys for Tots. The Marine Corps started the Toys for Tots program in 1947. Since then, it’s been a long withstanding tradition around holiday time. Toys for Tots volunteers help to transport toys, assist in the management of local warehouses, and help distribute toys and meals to charity recipients. Toys for Tots has local programs in all 50 states; a perfect opportunity for a high school student or a college student home on break.
3. The Holiday Project. The Holiday Project is a nonprofit organization that sends volunteers to hospitals, nursing homes and children’s shelters to spend time with those who can’t be with their families during the holiday season. If you’d like to be a part of someone’s stand-in family, check out The Holiday Project over winter break. This a great opportunity, especially for those stuck at school
4. Soup Kitchens and Food Banks. Food has always been a centerpiece of American holidays. What better way to give back to your community than to volunteer your time feeding the homeless at soup kitchens or food banks. If you choose this option, prepare to spend time tutoring children, packing food for use at a food pantry and distributing food items to the needy. Feeding America has an excellent program that helps feed more than 37 million Americans each year.
5. VolunteerMatch. If you don’t really care what you do, as long as you’re helping someone over the holidays, VolunteerMatch has an excellent service that matches people with great volunteering opportunities in your community. From environmental volunteering to pet rescue, VolunteerMatch has all kinds of ideas of how you can get involved over winter break.
Read more about high school activities.
What is your favorite way to volunteer?