Holiday Help Wanted
Start a new family tradition by volunteering in your community
We’d all like to make the season brighter for the less fortunate, but carving out time to give back is often at the end of a very long to-do list. Get back to the real spirit of the season with these easy ways to volunteer in your own community. Whether you have an hour or an afternoon to offer, there are a number of local opportunities that make a big impact without requiring a major time commitment. Most are perfect for kids, so you can start a fun new family tradition that helps your neighbors at the same time. Check out these opportunities near you:
- Salvation Army: Supporting the Salvation Army by ringing bells is perfect for the kids. You and your family can raise money for this very important community resource that provides food, clothing and shelter to the less fortunate. Volunteers are needed for outdoor and indoor locations throughout November and December. Passersby tend to give more to enthusiastic bell ringers who dress up and sing carols, so this is a perfect way to involve your little ones in giving back.
- Toys for Tots – Make a child’s holiday wish come true by supporting Toys for Tots. There are several ways to help, from running a toy drive at your workplace or church to sorting donations at the Alliant Energy Center. You can even adopt an entire family by buying gifts on their wish list. Or, play Santa and help parents choose the perfect gift for their kids.
- Ronald McDonald House – This organization provides a place to stay for parents and siblings of children who are undergoing treatment at local hospitals. Make their holiday away from home a little easier by signing up to prepare dinner for the guests of Ronald’s House. This is an ideal outing for families or coworkers who want to share some joy while cooking up warm holiday memories.
- Meals on Wheels – The holidays are packed with shopping, parties and family commitments, but you can still provide a lot of help to the hungry over your lunch hour. Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers to deliver food in your neighborhood. It requires less than an hour of your time and can make the season a lot brighter for your neighbors in need.
Tell us about your favorite local charities that could use a hand this holiday season!