December is almost here, and that means the much-anticipated holiday season is revving up! Even though it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, giving back to the community and helping others can make it an even more amazing Holiday Season.
We wanted to share a few holiday volunteering ideas that Lion’s Heart individuals, groups, or families can do together:
- In the cold winter months, many need warm coats and blankets. Provide those in need of warmth this season by hosting a sock, coat or blanket drive. Donate coats to One Warm Coat, new socks to The Joy of Sox, or blankets to homeless shelters, churches, and local animal shelters. You can even make blankets out of two thick pieces of cloth, fringe the ends, and tie the fringes together; here’s a tutorial from Project Linus.
- Plan a holiday baking party! Bake a wide variety of holiday cookies with your group, invite people in your community. Make sure to label them and deliver to local shelters, retirement homes. Show appreciation to your local police department and fire station as well by delivering delicious baked goods to them!
- Help out at an animal shelter. Walk or read to the animals or hand make toys with simple socks or fabric. Donate them to a local animal shelter or a local organization that accepts them!
- Organize toiletry supply drive to help your local shelter stock up on much needed items. Local shelters, nonprofits, and other grassroots organizations are always taking donations for individuals in need.
- Volunteer your time at your local food bank (see this food bank locater) or host a canned food drive in your neighborhood.
- Homeless shelters are in need of volunteers and donations all year round. A helpful thing you can do is make care kits or buy some basic hygiene items for a shelter, just call ahead to find out what they need.
- Let’s celebrate a “Green” Holiday Season! Help keep your community clean by teaming up with classmates and friends for a trash clean-up at local parks, rivers, and public spaces.
- Volunteer at a retirement home. You can help by reading books to the elderly, performing a play or musical act, or keeping senior citizens company during a meal. There are also opportunities to help teach them how to use basic technologies such as an iPhone or iPad.
- Organize a book drive. Donate new or gently used books to a local library, shelter, school, or daycare.
- Help make a child’s holiday special and host a toy drive for your local community center, shelter, or for Toys for Tots.
- Send a card to a soldier or hospitalized child. Show your gratitude by writing a letter of appreciation to our veterans with Operation Gratitude or spread some cheer and positivity to a child in the hospital through Cards for Hospitalized Kids.
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, sign up early as these slots fill up quickly over the holidays.
- Make and deliver a holiday meal to a neighbors just to spread the holiday spirit. Or contact organizations such as Meals on Wheels to see how you can help.
- Other organizations you can help over the holidays:
- Donate clothing and small household items to The Salvation Army
- Give blood or help with relief efforts with the American Red Cross
- Pack a shoebox of gifts for kids with Operation Christmas Child
- Christmas Spirit Foundation to donate a tree to the troops!
- Send cards with Adopt a Soldier
- Send postcards to kids all over the world with Send Kids the World
There are thousands of nonprofits across the U.S. that you can volunteer with or donate to, this is just a start. To find local nonprofits in your area, just google nonprofits near me to contact them to see what they need.
Have a wonderful and fulfilling holiday season!
EVERY ACT OF GIVING HAS A STORY. WHAT’S YOURS? You could win up to $10k for Lion’s Heart by sharing your volunteer story now through Nov 30. Thank you for supporting teens across the nation take action in their communities! https://mygi