Some Holiday Volunteer Ideas
The autumn chill is in the air. You know what that means . . . the holidays are officially here! And volunteers are needed now more than ever to help all members of our community feel connected and enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season! Thanksgiving falls on November 22, but fear not if you've haven't already signed up to volunteer -- there are ways to help out all month long (as most soup kitchens opportunities fill up fast)! Check out this list below or jump over to volunteernewyork.org/holiday to search the latest seasonal opportunties from now until the new year!
- When you think of parades, do memories of Thanksgiving come rusing back? Then maybe you would like to be a part of New Rochelle's Thanksgiving Parade on November 17! Volunteers would line up at the Huguenot Children's Library where they will help hold up balloons and fly banners that would help ring in the holiday.
- Many Thanksgiving dinners call for a satisfying roast which feeds a crowd. Well, now you can be a help with distributing some yummy entrees to people who would miss out on such a communal feast. The Aisling Irish Community Center is donating whole turkeys, turkey breasts and hams to the homeless with over 300 meals being dished out on Thanksgiving Day to benefit individuals in Yonkers.
- If you prefer a more hands-on approach and would like to serve up the meals yourself, perhaps you would like to be a part of the Thanksgiving dinner at the YWCA in White Plains. Volunteers would assist in sharing their smiles and serving the needy on November 20.
- As the weather gets nippy, you have to bundle up nice and warm if you want to get out of the cold. Luckily, you can give a homemade token of love to some lucky soul who could use a toasty garment! If you have some experience in making your own clothing, then you get to teach others about your craft by volunteering as a Knitting and Crocheting Basics Coach at Yonkers Public Library! Beginners will get to learn some nifty tips for creating hats, socks and scarfs while morning refreshments are provided so that cold mornings can be a little comfier.
- Protecting your feet in the bitter cold is one of the most common and yet overlooked aspects of winter gear that sometimes we don't even think twice about those who can't even afford to get a pair of socks in freezing weather. Socks are one of the most requested items at shelters, and yet the least donated. Warm socks are needed. Consider creating sock bundles to donate this season as a memorable family activity.
- Kids can also get in on the fun of giving back by helping peers their age who have serious medical conditions. Make-a-Wish Hudson Valley is offering a Kids for Wish Kids Program which helps connect young volunteers with fundraising and managing projects which help give other kids the hope and desires they crave during a difficult time in their lives. They can also learn about the values of community service and working together with fellow citizens.
- Church services around Thanksgiving can be a rewarding time for the faithful. Unfortunately, some congregants need some extra help attending services, as they are physically impaired. Wartburg Adult Care Community is looking for volunteers who would help escort wheelchair-bound attendees to the campus's Lutheran chapel during the morning hours. For those who understand the importance of going to regular mass for some people, this can be a fine way to assist them in their devotion.
- Sometimes making a card for somebody is one of the best gifts to brighten a lonely holiday. Caring Cards and Crafts is a great way to both devote some extra time to creating a small yet meaningful trinket of appreciation to nursing home residents who miss their loved ones during a hectic time. You can even include a small piece of poetry in your card, in addition to decorating it with festive trimmings!
- Attention! Do you like hot cocoa (who doesn't)? Do you like adorable doggies? Do you like walking for a good cause? Then MAC Angels Foundation is sponsoring a Hot Cocoa Run and Dog Walk for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life for ALS patients and their caregivers, as well as finding a cure for the disease. The Walk takes place on December 1st at Ward Elementary School in New Rochelle.
Hot Cocoa Run and Dog Walk
There's nothing that describes the spirit of Thanksgiving more than lending a hand and reflecting on all we have to be grateful for. Sign up now to be a volunteer and be the difference in making this a special holiday season for a neighbor in need. For a full list of volunteer opportunities available this season, please visit volunteernewyork.org/holiday.