As we approach the last two months of the year, it's a great time to slow down, take a deep breath and savor all that we've enjoyed over these past 10 months. The Winter season is upon us, and with it begins a new Holiday Season, time to spend with family and friends, and an opportunity to remember what is most important in our busy lives.
Now is a time when many people begin to think about giving-and not just giving of material goods and resources, but giving of time, specifically by volunteering. Across the region, non-profit, volunteer-based organizations are gearing up to provide extra support and resources for those in need, and they need people like you and me to show up and lend an extra hand. Volunteering during the holidays is a rewarding, powerful experience, and if you're thinking that you'd like to really find a way to make this year count, I highly recommend giving of yourself to your community.
Whether or not you have just a few hours, or an entire week to spare, everything counts when you're volunteering. If you need some ideas on how and where to put your energy and efforts, you've come to the right place! I've compiled a list of great organizations that could benefit from your participation, starting now! For more information, check out Volunteer Tidewater and Volunteer Match Williamsburg. Both sites are chock full of goodness for you to get up to.
Five Great Ways to Volunteer This Holiday Season:
- For Kids: Founded in Norfolk, over 20 years ago, For Kids is an organization committed to "breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty for families and children" in Hampton Roads. Volunteer help is needed in Children's Services, Fundraising, Education, Special Events, Maintenance and Upkeep and at their local thrift shop, Good Mojo.
- Peninsula Food Bank: Headquartered in Hampton, VA and in operation for 27 years now, the Peninsula Food Bank works to reach out to the hunger needs in 9 cities and counties in the area. Volunteer in their Warehouse, with Clerical Tasks, in their SHARE and Backpack Programs, in Special Events, or "On-the-Go."
- The Bargain Box Thrift Shop: Located in Yorktown, The Bargain Box is mandated to provide help and assistance to York County and Poquoson citizens in need. Volunteer by working behind the scenes to accept and sort donations, and repair and maintain merchandise. Volunteers may also work within the shop to manage pricing, neatness and customer service, as well as to work cash registers and check out guests.
- American Cancer Society's Relay for Life: At Relay for Life events, communities come together to honor those lost, celebrate those who have survived and fight back against cancer. Relay for Life teams camp out overnight and take turns walking or jogging a specific path, keeping one team member on the path at all times to acknowledge that cancer never sleeps. If you'd like to create or join a team, or prefer to volunteer at a local event, opportunities are knocking.
- Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families in need, with the help of volunteer labor, donated materials and financial contributions. Volunteers are needing in Construction, work in General Stores and by serving on one of their Committees. If you've ever wanted to get in and get your hands dirty while you serve, this is your chance.
Happy Holidays to you all!