Trust me, the worst case of the holiday humbugs can be easily cured by volunteering. In fact, you can start a new holiday tradition. Use the suggestions below or make your own list. Then let family members vote on which charity they want to help this season. It’s a wonderful way to put the holiday focus back on giving to others.
Help a Neighbor
You can brighten the day of a shut-in or elderly neighbor just by stopping by to chat or offering to run errands like grocery shopping, helping with laundry or simple meal preparation. Find 20 ways to volunteer at A Helping Hand.
Use a Special Skill
Lots of small local charities don’t have the time or resources to create a website. If you or an older teen have the skills, offer to design one for them.
Can you knit? Volunteer for World Vision’s Knit the World project, which sends hand-knit goods to needy children around the world.
Teach someone to read. Find a Pro Literacy program near you.
Support a Soldier
The USO is dedicated to helping our military and their families. Volunteers are always needed to help out at special events, greet the troops returning from deployment or to just provide a listening ear. Find out how you can help here.
Encourage a Prisoner
Help an inmate navigate his or her on the road to rehabilitation. Prison Fellowship has many volunteer opportunities to work with inmate or the newly released. Learn more.
Host a Blood Drive
Sadly, traffic accidents spike around the holidays, taxing local blood banks. The Red Cross has information on how you can host a blood drive in your community.
Help Out at an Animal Shelter
Contact your local animal shelter or American Humane Society chapter to learn about volunteer opportunities in your community.
Help the Salvation Army
More than 3,400,000 million people of all ages volunteered their time, talent and resources to help the Salvation Army last year. Sign up for SA’s Volunteer Match to find opportunities near you.
Get basic tips on matching your skills to volunteer needs and access links to more volunteering opportunities here.
Share Your Experiences
Do you know of a worthwhile non-profit that could use volunteers or have you got a great way to give back to people in need? We’d love to hear about it.