Helping Others This Holiday Season
“There is no better exercise for your heart than to reach down and lift someone up.” – Bernard Meltzer
The holidays are upon us, and with them come the stresses of getting it all done – shopping, cooking, entertaining, gifting…the to-do lists this time of year may seem overwhelming. What most of us really want during the holidays are the feelings of closeness and connection to family and friends. That’s why volunteering in our community during this busy holiday season can bring so much satisfaction.
There are many organizations that depend on volunteers to help provide their services to the community. Here are a few that are ideal for service from individuals, families, or a group from school or work. We hope to inspire you to find joy in the giving of your time!
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul feeds, clothes, houses and heals thousands of less fortunate individuals through its many programs. Volunteers are a critical component of their organization and there are opportunities for people of all ages (even young children). You can volunteer to work in the kitchen for meal prep helping to make more than 3,500 meals a day. The food warehouse needs assistance sorting, cleaning and ensuring that donated food meets quality-control standards. The dining rooms needs volunteers to set-up, serve, and bus tables. There are also opportunities to volunteer in the medical and dental clinics, the thrift stores or at the housing shelter.
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance works to feed those in need. Volunteers can help with packing emergency food boxes (45,000 boxes are distributed every month), distributing the boxes, handing out donated turkeys the days before Thanksgiving, and prepping meals for kids in our community that may not otherwise be fed at home. While the food bank is closed on Christmas Day, there is a large need for post-holiday help to sort and pack all the food that will be donated during the holiday season.
With the help of volunteers, The Salvation Army provides thousands of meals in their dining rooms and delivers thousands more to homebound individuals during the holidays. There are also many other opportunities for volunteers during the holiday season such as hosting a Christmas Angel Tree, serving as a red-kettle bell ringer or distributing toys donated from the toy drive.
How ever you decide to give, we’re positive it’ll be one of the more memorable aspects of your holiday season. Happy holidays to you and yours!