Volunteering During the Holidays

Volunteering During the Holidays

Looking to give back this holiday season? Well, a quick Google search will show you that there are endless volunteer opportunities, especially during the holidays. Now, it’s a matter of finding which one speaks to you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the many options, here are few volunteer opportunities for you to try out!

Volunteer at a homeless shelter
A Midnight Mission volunteer serves up Thanksgiving dinner
Image via latimes.com

Volunteering at homeless shelters is a year-round way to help out the community at large, but shelters can definitely get packed during the holidays. One particular shelter, Midnight Mission in downtown L.A., offers year-round food drives, meal services and a Thanksgiving dinner for L.A.’s homeless population. If you’re interested in volunteering beyond the holiday season, Midnight Mission has other ways for you to get involved that you can see here.

Participate in a food drive
Food Bank volunteers bag pears
Image via fletcherjones.com

Maybe you can’t make it to a shelter but you still want to help out. You can always participate in a food drive! The Food Bank of Southern California has always been a staple in volunteer work and they offer multiple ways to get involved. You can donate food to your local Food Bank drive, volunteer at one or even host your own food drive!

Donate to a clothes drive
Families pick out coats from their local coat drive
Image via abcnews.com

It may not dip below freezing in California but keep in mind that not everyone has the luxury of grabbing a coat the second it dips below 60 degrees. Warm Coats Warm Hearts Drive collects gently used coats and gives them to homeless shelters for anyone in need of a coat for the winter. Head straight over to your nearest Burlington Coat Factory and drop off your coat.

Give back directly to your community
A neighborhood enjoys a spread of holiday foods together
Image via pinterest.com

About one-seventh of the population receives nutrition aid which means that community acts, like group dinners, can go a long way. Consider prepping a dinner with your friends and family and invite some of your neighbors over! You never know, that dinner might make your neighbors’ night.

Volunteer at a senior center
A volunteer helps a senior citizen with her phone
Image via pinterest.com

It can be difficult for people to visit their families living in senior centers because of busy work schedules, distance and other factors. That means some seniors may find themselves alone during the holidays, which can be lonely. Senior Smiles is a volunteer group that trains people to provide companionship to the elderly living in senior centers. Senior Smiles has volunteer groups serving multiple centers around Southern California, find your nearest one here.

These are just a few of the many ways you can get involved with your community over the holidays. We want to know how you give back! Share with us using the #CampusCropChat on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to follow us on Snapchat @ASICPP!