Where to volunteer for the holidays, make seasonal donations

Where to volunteer for the holidays, make seasonal donations

It’s the end of the year and a time to reflect and be thankful for what we have. For those who got lucky this year, consider giving back to the community with these ideas of where to volunteer and donate in and around Houston.

From preparing food for the homeless to volunteering at animal shelters, there are many ways to make a contribution, and not just during the holidays, but all year round.

BARC Animal Shelter & Adoptions

The City Animal Shelter and Adoption Facility provides volunteers with hands-on responsibilities including animal care, assisting with adoptions and special events, foster homes, organizing the foster kitchen, and administrative help. Volunteers must complete orientation to prepare for specific jobs. Ages 13+, parental supervision required for under 16s. houstontx.gov/barc

Catholic Charities

The organization provides food, clothing, shelter and a network of support services to people from all walks of life and religious backgrounds. They are currently looking for volunteers to help bag and distribute groceries to families in need at their regional food supplies. Monetary donations are also needed for the Christmas donation campaign Angels of Advent. catholiccharities.org

The super festival of the City Wide Club

City Wide Club provides social services to poor, needy seniors or just those who need a helping hand. The club is best known for its annual Christmas Eve Super Feast at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Super Feast requires dozens of volunteers to help prepare food and serve the day the day before. In addition, they always need durable food, toys and household items. www.citywideclub.com

Food instead of bombs

This nonprofit organization feeds the homeless and hungry in downtown Houston and caters to vegetarians and vegans. Bring a healthy meal to 550 McKinney at 6:45pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Sunday. facebook.com/houstonfoodnotbombs

Friends for life animal shelter

This dedicated organization provides no-kill solutions for Houston’s animals and includes programs such as rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, humane education, and animal nutrition/care assistance. Volunteers 18+ can help with direct animal care, adoption counselors, foster care, social media, and administrative support. Current needs are monetary donations and used blankets and towels for #ProjectWARM houses. friends4life.org

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center

The center is always looking for blood donations, by appointment only. To sign up or find a list of blood donor sites, call 713-791-6608; GiveBlood.org

Houston Food Bank

Help the food bank this holiday season by volunteering at their Portwall and Knobcrest locations. Volunteer projects can include food inspecting and sorting, hot meal packaging, and off-site food distribution. To volunteer, register in advance at houstonfoodbank.org/ways-to-give/give-time or call 713-547-8604. Make monetary donations online at houstonfoodbank.org

Houston Area Women’s Center

The organization campaigns against domestic violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking. It offers crisis intervention, support programs and initiatives to prevent violence. Volunteers can help with childcare, answer hotline calls, assist with administrative tasks, and create care packages for survivors. The Houston Area Women’s Center is in dire need of Christmas gifts for families in shelters. Donations can be purchased from their Amazon wish list at amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/33G5UA25J7O99. hawc.org

Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston’s Refugee Toy Drive

The local non-profit organization brings people of different faith traditions together for dialogue, collaboration and service. Its core programs include Meals on Wheels for the greater Houston and Galveston County/Animeals and refugee services. Make the holiday special for refugee children by donating to Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston’s Refugee Toy Drive, which has been extended through December 20th. Donations can be made through the Refugee Services Toy Drive Amazon Wishlist at amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/. 1OQJ6I4VCKVTY or drop off your new, unwrapped toy at the office in 3303 Main, Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. For more information, email [email protected] imgh.org

Katy Christian Ministries

The nonprofit community service serves the Katy/West Houston, Fulshear, and Simonton areas; The group provides emergency financial assistance, food supplies, a resale shop and a crisis center which houses the Domestic Violence Center and the Sexual Assault Center. Volunteer needs include bilingual clerks, pantry sorters, cashiers and fundraiser assistants for the resale store. KCM is accepting cash donations for its year-end fundraiser and is urgently looking for inventory day volunteers and sponsors for breakfast and lunch on December 15th. ktcm.org

Kids Meals Houston

The organization aims to eradicate hunger among preschoolers by delivering free healthy meals to their doorsteps and providing families with resources to end the cycle of poverty. Voluntary shifts are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Children from the age of 8 are welcome to volunteer. Donations needed include ziplock bags, pre-packaged non-perishable groceries and decorated £6 brown lunch boxes. Houston’s Kids Meals Adopt-a-Family program allows donors to choose a family, browse their wish list, and personally deliver the gifts. For more information email [email protected]; kidsmealsinc.org

Northwest Assistance Ministries

Northwest Assistance Ministries has launched its 2022 Holiday Blessings campaign, trying to raise enough funds and supplies to provide gifts for 5,000 children and holiday meals for 1,700 families in Northwest Houston. Donors can buy toys and groceries from their Holiday Food Wish List and drop off donations Monday to Friday between 9am and 3pm in 15555 Kukendahl. Volunteers are also needed to help collect donations, stock the pantry, prepare food for distribution and carry food to cars, and help with toy distribution. nameonline.org

Ronald McDonald House

The nonprofit organization provides a home away from home for the families of children treated at Texas Medical Center member facilities. Individuals may serve at Holcombe House, Hospital programs as Welcome Desk Volunteers or on the support team in family rooms and lounges. This includes offering a welcoming presence, light administrative skills, arranging and replacing fresh linens, providing donated meals to families, and replenishing groceries in family rooms within the hospital. rmhhouston.org

Mission Star of Hope

The Christ-centered community is dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women and children. Volunteer opportunities include meal service, tutoring, and off-site food distribution. The Star of Hope Mission is currently in urgent need of food and monetary donations. 713-748-0700; sohmission.org

goal hunger

The organization provides food to vulnerable community members, including homebound seniors. They are currently looking for volunteers for camp, community gardening, food distribution and food donations for the holiday season. 832-767-1677; targethunger.org

The Children’s Assessment Center

The nonprofit organization provides free forensic interviews, family advocacy, psychiatric services and medical evaluations to victims of sexual abuse and trafficking of children and their families. Volunteer opportunities include maintaining facilities and helping with important programs and events. The Children’s Assessment Center is in need of donations including clothing, shoes, toiletries, school supplies, Christmas gifts and gift cards for gas and groceries for its clients in need. For Christmas gift donations, contact Volunteer Coordinator Julissa Alvarado at [email protected] or 713-986-3488. 2500 bolsovers; cacheuston.org

Toys for toddlers

The United States Marine Corps Reserve program distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them Christmas presents. Families can choose toys for a child and drop them off at one of the many collection points in the Houston area. Different places. houston-tx.toysfortots.org

West Houston Assistance Ministries

WHAM is a Christian ministry that provides social services to all eligible individuals, regardless of faith or background, including financial assistance, job search, food supplies, low-cost, low-impact items, and other special programs. Volunteers are needed to run WHAM’s pantry and resale store. Some also help with computer and job search skills, or assist with answering phones, entering dates, or other customer services. Donations of food, furniture and clothing are urgently needed. whamministries.org

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