Published: Dec. 18, 2017

Snow in the shape of a heart sits in two hands.There are many different ways we can give back to positively impact our community. For those who are looking to give back this season, the Volunteer Resource Center has provided many helpful tips in their Holiday Season Volunteer Guide. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Traditional ways to give back

  • Assist food pantries and shelters to prepare and serve meals.
  • Collect, distribute and donate items such as warm socks and winter gloves, gently used clothing and toys.
  • Plan your holiday party around a service project.
  • If you choose to exchange gifts, select products that make a difference (check out the Women’s Bean Project for an example).

Giving back in new ways

  • Shovel snow, clean up yards, parks and public spaces in your neighborhood.
  • Volunteer at a youth center or nursing home.
  • While traveling for the holidays, schedule in a day to contribute to a community. project—look for local United Ways in the area, or visit www.volunteermatch.org for opportunities.
  • Get involved with LGBTQ initiatives and find ways to show support for those who may not be connected with or accepted by their families.

Things to keep in mind

  • Before​ ​donating​ ​items, ​always​ ​ensure​ ​the​ ​receiving​ ​individual​ ​or​ ​organization​ ​can​ ​actually​ ​use​ ​the​ ​items.
  • Many organizations experience a drop off or shortage in volunteer support directly after the holidays—be open minded to volunteering when your work is most needed.

Click here to view the full Holiday Season Volunteer Guide and volunteer opportunities.