10 Volunteer Opportunities Guaranteed to Increase Your Happiness This Holiday Season
Volunteering this holiday season

Bring joy and hapiness to yourself and those less fortunate by volunteering this holiday season

The holidays are a time of giving, and most people find that they feel better about themselves and the world around them when they volunteer to help at local, national, or global organizations.

The reason for this is simple: the world is a hard place, and, while we can’t reach out and fix the entire thing at once, the most proactive step each of us can take is to do everything in our power to make our corner of it better.  

In recent years, the number of people who volunteer housebound has risen, climbing to more than 62.6 million adults in 2014. 

These figures spike during the holidays when people from all walks of life are looking for ways to give back, spread some good cheer, and lend a helping hand to their neighbors and communities.

If you’re searching for a volunteer opportunity to participate in this holiday season, here’s our list of the top ten volunteering opportunities:

1. Volunteer at a soup kitchen Help out at a soup kitchen

 Right now, 1 out of every 6 Americans faces hunger, and more than 17 million U.S. households experience “food insecurity” (meaning the household has occasional periods where it is difficult to access enough food for all its family members) each year.  These are staggering numbers, and they just go to show how critical the work that soup kitchens and similar community organizations offer is. 

This holiday season, one of the easiest and most helpful things you can do is to take an active role in feeding the hungry. Volunteer positions at soup kitchens (which provide free, hot meals for needy families and individuals) are common and straightforward. Plus, since they don’t require heavy lifting or intense physical activity, they’re ideal for older seniors or people with injuries and disabilities. 

To find a soup kitchen, community kitchen, or food bank (organizations that work to feed their communities around the holidays and throughout the year)  in your area, visit FeedingAmerica.com and enter your location. 

2.  Donate to a local domestic violence shelter

 Every single minute, an average of 20 people (in the U.S. alone) are abused by their intimate partner. This abuse leads to more than 10 million individuals being displaced from their homes annually. In many cases, the victims of abuse turn to domestic violence shelters for legal advocacy, orders of protection, housing, and healing.

This holiday season, find one of these organizations in your area and donate time, supplies, or money. In the name of safety, many domestic violence shelters are only open to women and children, and they always need simple supplies. Here are some items you can donate:

  • Baby formula
  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Clothing
  • Household goods (shelters often furnish women with household supplies when they leave the shelter and move into their own apartments or homes)
  • Children’s toys
  • Holiday food (turkeys, cookies, etc.)
  •  Gifts

Some shelters also have facilities for pets, and separate housing units for men. To find out what your local shelter needs, contact them and ask for a requested donation list. Keep in mind that many shelters are in confidential locations and may not accept strangers as volunteers, so you may have to go through a screening process to volunteer at the shelter. 

If you don’t want to do that, you can always donate supplies. To locate your local organization, visit the local coalitions page from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  

3. Read to children at a local library

Read to children at the library

 Reading stories to children is a fun and enjoyable volunteer activity that leaves everyone involved feeling happy and festive – especially when the books are old holiday classics, like The Night Before Christmas

To find out when your library hosts children’s Storytime, and how you can get involved, contact your local organization for more information.

4. Read to seniors at a senior centerSeniors reading books for the holiday

Senior centers are commonly overlooked volunteering destinations, but they need just as much attention as places like soup kitchens and shelters. To give back to your community and help local seniors this holiday, offer to read stories, sing carols, make Christmas ornaments, or more at your local senior center.  

Many of the seniors in these places have no remaining family, and a visit from a caring volunteer may be something they look forward to for days.  

5. Do food drop-offs for your local food bank

Most local food banks run programs where they deliver critical groceries to people who are house-bound, ill, or needy. This holiday season, volunteer to take over some of these deliveries. In addition to being a critical service, these deliveries also provide essential supplies to vulnerable populations that truly need the help. 

When you volunteer your time to drop off these donations, and you’ll be rewarded by meeting new people and making new friends. 

6. Volunteer at a halfway house

Halfway houses are commonly in need of volunteers for the holidays. Simple things, like volunteering to cook meals or work with residents, or just offering to donate supplies are highly appreciated. These small things are wonderful ways to make a difference during the holiday season.

7. Donate your time to meals on wheels

Meals on Wheels is an important organization that makes it a mission to deliver warm, healthy meals to seniors who can’t cook for themselves, or leave home very easily. Without an organization like this, these seniors often go hungry or fail to get the nutrition they need from their daily meals.  

Meals on Wheels of America

Fortunately, your support can help make a difference. This holiday season, donate directly to Meals on Wheels or visit their website to locate volunteer opportunities in your area. 

While this is a simple program, it’s one that can make a significant difference in a senior’s life.  

8. Make care packages for overseas soldiers

Holiday packages for soldiers

Soldiers currently deployed overseas don’t get to spend the holidays with their families, and many of them are missing husbands, wives, parents, and children. This holiday season, one compassionate way to get involved and volunteer your time is to put together care packages for overseas military personnel. 

Military.com has a helpful list of things to send people who are deployed, and SupportOurTroops.org has simple directions for assembling and mailing care packages to overseas military. 

9. Volunteer at your local animal shelter

Volunteer at local animal shelter

We know it’s important for humans to have happy and safe holidays, but what about the animals in our lives? Each year, more than 7.6 million dogs and cats enter shelters in the U.S., and only 2.7 million are adopted. In no-kill shelters, caring for those animals left behind can be expensive and exhausting, and volunteer assistance is always appreciated. 

This holiday season, dedicate your time to caring for the animals who can’t come home for the holidays. Cleaning pens, cuddling with animals, walking dogs, or attending community events to raise awareness are all fantastic steps. If you can’t volunteer for physical work, consider donating pet food, beds, supplies, or even money to your local shelter.  

10. Help your neighbors

If you’d like to keep your volunteer efforts as close to home as possible, look for small ways to help your neighbors. Simple things like shoveling your elderly neighbor’s walk, brining a batch of homemade cookies, or singing carols with some people from your area will brighten spirits and help everyone get into the holiday frame of mind. 

 

Conclusion  

Volunteering for the holiday season is a great way to get into the giving mindset and make a difference in your community. While it can be difficult to locate volunteer opportunities that fit your priorities, these ten opportunities are ideal for most people and can help you do good this holiday season. 

Related Health Tips

10 Warning Signs of A Heart Attack You Should Never Ignore

Heart attacks are becoming more common especially after the development in scientific research. What people perceived as common chest pains, are now more distinctly categorized as types of heart attacks. Myocardial Infarction commonly known as heart attack is an...

10 Ways to Bring Positive Energy Into the Home

There are few settings where positive energy is more important than a home care environment. Home care sometimes involves great sadness and difficult situations and while it is important to respect those things as realities, it is also important to go to great lengths...

How to Have a Healthy Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, everyone is busy coming up with a menu for the big feast. Thanksgiving is famous for being all about overindulgence and eating, but it can be a stressful experience for those who need to be careful about what they eat, such as...

15 Foods That Can Help You Sleep

When it comes to sleep, we’re willing to try pretty much anything. From breathing exercises to hormonal sleep aids like melatonin and even white noise machines. Did you know, however, that getting to sleep might be as easy as changing your diet?It makes sense that...

Organizational Tips for Caregivers

Being a caregiver to an elderly parent is an enormous responsibility. You’re in charge of nearly every little aspect of your parent’s life and daily activities. It can be overwhelming, exhausting, and possibly even frightening at times. However, early planning and...

Seven Tips to Help You Care for An Ill Spouse

Caring for an ill spouse is always a difficult process, but it’s especially trying for seniors. In addition to coping with their own aging process and potential health issues, seniors who are caring for ill spouses must also contend with the emotional and mental...

Safe Senior-Friendly Activities for Summer

The days are longer and brighter, as luscious lawns and trees in full bloom color beckon us to fill our extended afternoons with outdoor activities and relaxation. With unique ways to make memories and spend time with family and friends present in every season, take...

13 Easy Ways To Help Fight Off A Cold

The Cold and flu are mostly harmless medical conditions which are not considered as serious illnesses, but they are also one of the top productivity killing health conditions due to the amount of rest required and almost a week long symptoms. The cold is mostly...

4 Key Steps to Help You Prevent Arthritis

Arthritis is the most common disability in America and has been since the year 2000. Arthritis affects nearly 50% of people by age 85 and the rates are especially high for people who are overweight or have previous injuries.Roughly 52.5 million people in the United...

0 Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Phone

+1 803-574-3069

Location

717 Encino Pl NE.
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Store Hours

M-F: 8am – 11:30pm
S-S: 9am – 9:30pm

We are happy to announce that we now accept credit card payments for all your orders. Please contact us via live chat after you complete the checkout process to finalize your transaction securely.

X
error: Alert: Content is protected !!