So many kids, right this very minute, are so focused on what they're getting for Christmas. But, as we all know, there are a lot of people out there who could really use a helping hand.
I checked in with the United Way of the Greater Triangle to find out how families could volunteer this holiday season. Natasha Wayne, community engagement and special events manager, shared a variety off opportunities ranging from donation and adoption opportunities to hands-on activities.
Here are ways to help:
- Toy Shop Elves with The Salvation Army: Volunteers are needed through December to help set up their Santa’s Toy Shop, organizing the toys donated through the Angel Tree program to ensure the gifts are delivered to the specified children.
- Kraft Family YMCA's Presents of Peace Store. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, December 14. Angel parents have the opportunity to select one gift per child to ‘buy and wrap’ on their own. Store keepers, shopper helpers and wrapping station coordinators are needed. Contact Beth Porter at 919-249-1400 or Beth.firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for these opportunities.
- Fill-A-Truck Campaign with The Salvation Army of Durham: The Salvation Army needs help collecting toys for the Angel Tree Program at local Walmarts and retailers on the following dates: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 13, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 14 (at the Walmarts in Roxboro and New Hope Commons); and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 13 at The Streets at Southpoint.
- Haven House Services Holiday Projects: Haven House Services is looking for gift donations for middle and high school youth (ages 10-18).
- PLM Families Together Holiday Smiles Sponsors: PLM Families Together is looking for individuals, groups, or companies to adopt families for the holidays.
- United Way of the Greater Triangle “Community Reads” Book Drive: The United Way is working to bring new and used books to children in Orange, Johnston, and Durham counties during a community reading day on Jan. 20, the MLK Day of Service. The goal of the event is to send each child home with a book of his/her own at the end of the event. About 1,500 children will attend across the three counties. The United Way encourages groups to hold book drives for new and used books for readers ages 0 to 16. Books are needed in the United Way office by Friday, Jan. 3 Contact Natasha Wayne at email@example.com if you’d like to run a book drive or participate in MLK Day of Service.
- Food Organization at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC Warehouse: The Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC offers volunteer opportunities daily for youth aged 12 to 17, when accompanied by an adult. Warehouse tasks include sorting donations and repackaging bulk foods to go into the community. Regular volunteer hours by location can be viewed here.
- Pack Meals with Meals on Wheels of Durham: This project takes place Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Could be a great winter break activity. Volunteers help pack 300 hot meals for homebound senior citizens in the Durham area.
- Volunteer Fridays with T4T: Volunteers are needed to help Teaming for Technology, a program within United Way of the Greater Triangle, to clean and repair computers for area non-profits. Volunteers must be at least 10 years old, but no special training is required. This opportunity takes place every Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- New Year’s Eve Sorting Party with InterAct: InterAct is expecting a large increase of donations to their Pass It On, Too thrift store toward the end of the December. They’re holding a sorting party Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 to help sort and organize all of the donations coming.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: On Jan. 20, the United Way of the Greater Triangle will host its ninth annual Triangle Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Projects will take place across Durham, Orange, Johnston, and Wake Counties, mobilizing more than 2,000 volunteers in volunteer service.
Check the United Way's Get Connected site to learn about other volunteer opportunities in the Triangle during the holidays and all year.