Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Helping Out: Holiday volunteer opportunities for teens

Posted November 29, 2012

I wrote about volunteer opportunities during the holidays for children yesterday.

Today, with help from the United Way of the Greater Triangle's Megan Fitzgerald, the focus is on opportunities for teens and young adults to help out in the community during the holiday season. As we all know, there are many people out there who are struggling right now.

Here's how Fitzgerald says we can help:

  • Santa’s Helpers are needed to wrap presents at various locations including the Threshold Clubhouse in Durham.
  • In addition to wrapping presents, groups such as Interact in Raleigh host a Holiday Bazaar for it clients and could use help in the store!
  • Central and Eastern North Carolina Food Banks are always looking for assistance at their food banks and food pantries. Sorting and organizing food needs to be done in order to get it ready to deliver food to those in need.
  • Encourage friends, neighbors and extended family members to gather gently used coats, gloves and other winter clothes that can be donated to organizations like local Boys and Girls Clubs.
  • Help the Salvation Army out by volunteering to be a bell ringer or help out at local malls by assisting with the Angel Trees.
  • Donations of gift cards and gift certificates for grocery stores, office supply stores and hardware stores are helpful during the holidays for families.

Specific agencies that could use some help:

Of course, there are many more ways to help out in the community. As I shared yesterday, if you're looking for more ways to help out, the United Way of the Greater Triangle's "Get Connected" software helps people find out about local nonprofit agencies and volunteer opportunities, in-kind needs, events and job openings.

Fitzgerald recommends that it's always best to visit a nonprofit's website to learn more about their goals and objectives and to find the group's volunteer coordinator who can help answer any questions. You can follow the United Way on Facebook and Twitter too for regular information about volunteer opportunities.

And mark your calendars: The 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is Jan. 21. Service projects will be taking place across the Triangle. Go to the "Get Connected" site to sign up.

If you want to talk to somebody directly, Fitzgerald is more than happy to field your questions. Contact her at

Looking for other holiday ideas? Check out Go Ask Mom's Holiday Central.


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