Even before the Christmas decorations appear in retail stores, nonprofit organizations are busy making plans so those in need can have a nice holiday season.
Boxes for Toys for Tots are available at area businesses, and the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle volunteers are ringing their bells. Food drives are popping up all over, with food basket distributions being planned by local churches.
And though it's no secret that everyone is watching their wallets this time of year, you can still give a gift; a gift of your time. And to help you find the right volunteer opportunity for you, United Way has provided a guide that will help locate the organizations in need of assistance.
Volunteers are needed for a Family Volunteer day, Nov. 17, making literacy kits for kids in the community. Information for this fun activity can be found on the United Way website.
You can adopt a family through HACAP and Catherine McCauley, or serve meals during the holidays. You can help with holiday parties and other activities during holiday events, including Willis Dady, Waypoint Service, Families Helping Families, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Arc, Four Oaks, Aging Services, and more.
Jessica Butler, Volunteer Manager and Special Events Assistant for the Salvation Army, said the annual Red Kettle campaign raises money that stays in the community and funds programs such as supporting youth activities, rental and utility assistance, food pantry, emergency disaster services, sending kids to camp, and more.
“We have some great volunteer opportunities available,” she said. “We also need volunteers for the Toys for Tots program and food box distribution.”
Closer to home, the Hiawatha Library is offering to pay your fines for you during the month of November, when you bring a packaged food item to the library, 150 W. Willman street.
The library is also collecting men and women socks until Dec. 1. Kid-Powered Kindness is collecting blankets at the library until Dec. 1. The blankets and socks will then be distributed to those in need.
For more information, the Salvation Army’s volunteer page, or on the United Way’s website at www.uweci.org.