Where to Volunteer during the Holidays

It’s December and signs of the holidays are everywhere – think peppermint lattes, pine trees, decorative lights, holiday music, and of course, baked goods! While these are a few of our favorite holiday things, we feel it is important to recognize December as the season of giving. With the spirit of the holidays, it’s hard not to think of those who are less fortunate and the different ways we can give to make this month just as special for them. With this being said, these types of organizations provide the opportunity for volunteers to help those who may be suffering from hunger, homelessness or illnesses.

  1.  Food Banks & Soup Kitchens — According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 people  in the United States are struggling with hunger and “in 2011, 50.1  million Americans lived in food insecure households.” Nonprofit      charitable organizations such as food banks and soup kitchens provide meals to people that have found themselves fighting to survive hunger. Food banks generally operate similar to a warehouse by storing food and      distributing to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food pantries and other similar nonprofits. To find a local food bank or soup kitchen in your area, visit Feeding America.
  2. Homeless Shelters — According to the Children’s Defense Fund, one in every 5 children are living in poverty. The National Coalition for the Homeless says that “families with children are among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population.” Homeless Shelters provide what some may take for granted — hot meals, beds and a roof.
  3. Nonprofits — According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are 2.3 million nonprofit organizations operating in the United States. The NCCS also states that, “approximately 26.3% of Americans over the age of 16 volunteered through or for an organization between September 2009 and September 2010.”  This leaves a world of opportunity to volunteer and help nonprofit organizations. Learn more about volunteer opportunities by visiting your local volunteer center. GuideStar is also a valuable source for information on nonprofit organizations and contribution details.

The volunteer opportunities are endless. Other options may include volunteering at adult day care centers or senior centers, after school programs, literacy programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, animal shelters and more! For assistance, visit Volunteer Match to search online for volunteer postings in your area.

Sources:

FeedingAmerica; www.feedingamerica.org
The Children’s Defense Fund; www.childrensdefense.org
National Coalition for the Homeless; www.nationalhomeless.org
NationalCenterfor Charitable Statistics; http://nccs.urban.org
GuideStar; www.guidestar.org
Volunteer Match; www.volunteermatch.org

 
AFC Insurance writes this blog. The content and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly for informative purposes from sources that are presumed accurate. AFC Insurance does not assume responsibility for any misguided information and no guarantees are implied.