Photo credit by kokoloveguam
The holiday season in general – and Christmas in particular – brings out the best in people. Not surprisingly, there are many families and also single revelers willing and able to give up some party time and help others. If you are wondering at which places to volunteer for Christmas, look no further! There are so many wonderful organizations that are probably – if not next door – very close to your home. Think carefully about the kind of cause you want to support, the kind of volunteer work for which you feel the most suited and also the amount of time you are willing to give.
The Salvation Army is a well known non-profit organization that provides toys for needy children, offers holiday meals to the homeless, counsels substance abusers and also holds rummage sales for fundraising. Even as the organization has a large number of well organized volunteer groups, an extra pair of hands is always welcomed; who knows, you may be able to take over the volunteer work of one of their elderly volunteers!
Hope Worldwide sponsors after school programs in the United States, provides disaster relief volunteers and also has countless oversees locales where it operates schools, hospitals and other institutions devoted to serving residents. While there may not be actual volunteer activities in the United States for Christmas, travelers to the Philippines are in luck and may be able to help out at the Hope Worldwide facilities there.
Senior Center or Convalescent Home
Find your local senior center or convalescent home and inquire about volunteer opportunities. You may be able to work with seniors on doing Christmas crafts or participating in singing carols. Depending on the policies of the particular venue, you could obtain permission to bring cookies and other little treats. Who knows, you might forge a friendship with a senior, who in turn may become a surrogate grandma or grandpa to your children!
Animal shelters always need additional hands. There are dogs that need walking, cages that require cleaning, food bowls that are getting empty and of course the little bit of extra attention homeless would-be pets require. In some cases you may actually be invited to foster an animal during the holiday season to get it out of the shelter; the odds are good that the pet will become so dear to you that you won’t be able to let go after Christmas and officially adopt the animal.
If you can portray a believable Santa or Mrs. Claus, you may find the perfect venue at hospital row. Contact a Santa volunteer organization and undergo a screening process; remember that any time when children are involved, you most likely need to undergo a criminal background check and also pass a drug screen. Volunteers at children’s hospitals have shared that initially some children are fearful of a tall man with a beard; in such situations it is a good idea to be quiet rather than boisterous, just sit near them and unpack some crayons and coloring books. Before long, the kids will warm up to you.