The holiday season is a great time to volunteer and reach out and help the needy. The Washington, DC area has lots of charitable organizations that need volunteers to prepare and serve holiday meals, collect and wrap gifts, visit the sick or elderly or just spread some holiday cheer. If you’d like to help, here are some organizations to contact.
The Holiday Project
The organization arranges visits to people in nursing homes and hospitals in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. Volunteers provide attention, conversation and companionship during the holiday season.
Capital Area Food Bank
Make a monetary donation or help with a number of holiday giving projects. This is the largest, public nonprofit hunger and nutrition education resource in the region.
Toys for Tots
The Toys For Tots – Washington, DC program provides toys to brighten the holiday season for children in local needy families. Any individual, business or organization can hold a toy collection drive. You may also make a donation at more than 400 drop off sites in the DC area.
Food & Friends
This organization provides meals to support men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-challenging illnesses. Volunteers are needed to help in the kitchen as well as to make deliveries.
Donate money or host your own personalized Red Kettle to gather donations from others. The international Christian organization strives to improve the lives of the needy and provide holiday meals.
Adopt-a- Family Program
The holiday program is run by the Jewish Social
Service Agency and organizes volunteers to collect gifts for the needy. JSSA provides eldercare services, Meals on Wheels for the elderly, early childhood intervention for developmental disabilities, services to people with autism and their families, hospice care, mental health services, support to people with all types of disabilities, and more.
Washington DC Jewish Community Center
The Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service (MCCCS) organizes high-impact community service projects and events that address unmet needs in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Volunteers take responsibility to enrich the lives of others and in doing so enrich their own. The organization has active partnerships with over 100 local social service agencies. For the holidays, volunteers serve Christmas lunch to seniors, visit with a homebound patients who don't have family in the area or play games with the kids at a homeless shelter. Projects range in from 1-3 hours and vary in activities.
For more volunteer activities, see a guide to local Volunteer Centers, agencies that coordinate programs in each city or county around the region.
Do you volunteer for the holidays? How do you like to spread your holiday cheer? Share your story and tell how you help others during the holiday season.