Holiday Volunteer and Holiday Giving Opportunities This Holiday Season : This month will provide a wealth of opportunities for individuals to volunteer their time and skills to brighten or simplify the life of another individual during this busy holiday season. Volunteering for the holiday season can be a rewarding experience for the volunteer and provide an opportunity during the hectic time of year. More than 29 million Americans say they will volunteer this November and December, so there is plenty of opportunity to make that wish come true. The key to making your holiday-giving experience a success is knowing what opportunities are available and how they can help you.
These are some of the best places to volunteer this holiday season. Many local food banks need volunteers this time of year. You can write letters on behalf of children to Santa, pick up food donations from local grocery stores and arrange for their delivery, or work one-on-one with families as they select the items that will make their holiday special. Contact your local food bank or visit them for more information. This Free Holiday Assistance in Kent and Ottawa County can help!
Many hospitals and schools need volunteers to make holiday wishes come true for the children who are spending this time away from their families. In addition, many hospitals will be hosting gift drives where they ask businesses to donate gifts they can distribute to the patients. If you wish to help, visit the hospital or school of your choice and see what ideas they have that would be useful.
The holiday season is a wonderful time to support local charities, although it can also create enormous work for them. Many charities that provide help during the holidays will need volunteers to return hand-delivered gifts, prepare holiday dinners for families who need extra income during this stressful time of year, work one-on-one with children preparing their holiday cards, or make donations to their cause. Volunteering is great if you want to show your support while contributing in other ways.
Many individuals cannot spend all day decorating the holidays this season because they must return home and take care of their families. The Salvation Army is one of the largest and most reputable charities, but many volunteers can only use some of their time for holiday giving. If you are interested in helping but can donate only a few hours a week, you can help prepare food at local kitchens or clean up after events.
Many children go hungry during the holidays because their parents cannot provide enough food for them due to financial difficulties. Feeding America is dedicated to helping those individuals, and donating your time is a wonderful way to support this cause.
Holiday Volunteer Opportunities in Holiday Season
Dutch Boy Holiday Dinner
Dutch Boy Dinner will be served in the Holland Armory on Monday, November 20, from 5:30–7 pm. The dinner will consist of turkey and all the trimmings and desserts.
Dutch Boy Dinner will be served in the Holland Armory on Monday, November 20, from 5:30–7 pm. The dinner will consist of turkey and all the trimmings and desserts. Holland Community Christmas Dinner: Volunteers are needed to pitch in at the Holland Community Christmas Dinner, which will be held Thursday, December 13, from 5–9 pm for anyone needing a free holiday meal.
The dinner will be served at the Armory and Fellowship Hall on Friday, December 14, from 5–9 pm and Saturday, December 15, from 2–6 pm. Holiday meal kits will be available for those unable to provide food for the holidays.
Community Action House Food Club Thanksgiving Food Distribution
Each year, Community Action House Food Club distributes Thanksgiving food to homeless individuals and others in need of assistance. The distribution will occur at the Community Action House on Saturday, November 18, from 8:30–11 am. The public is invited to volunteer at this event by bringing items to share with those in need.
With the launch of its new food club, CAH has introduced some new elements to this year’s Thanksgiving food distribution. Guests will go grocery shopping for their holiday meals rather than pick up a pre-packaged food box for the family.
Volunteers are required to perform a variety of tasks, including but not limited to greeting guests, assisting with grocery shopping and bagging, restocking, and more. The Food Club can be found in Holland at 739 Paw Paw Drive. volunteer.communityactionhouse.org is a website that allows individuals interested in volunteering with CAH to register and sign up for specific dates and times.
Community Kitchen Thanksgiving Meal
The Thanksgiving meal will be served at the Community Kitchen on November 13 from 1–4 pm. The Thanksgiving meal will be served at the Community Kitchen on November 13 from 1–4 pm Michigan Avenue Christian Church’s free holiday meal: The church is hosting a free Thanksgiving meal that is open to everyone, not just those in need of food assistance or who are members of the church.
The menu includes turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. On Thursday, November 25, between 1 and 3 pm, the Community Kitchen, which is housed at Western Theological Seminary and can be found at 101 E. 13th Street in Holland, is looking for volunteers to assist in serving between 250 and 300 meals. Volunteers must assist with meal preparation, serving guests, cleaning up after guests, and greeting guests.
Community Kitchen Thanksgiving Meal also welcomes volunteers. If you do not have the opportunity to volunteer with the Community Kitchen, you can help out by donating food or monetary donations to their cause. You can donate at Christmas or Thanksgiving.
You can also help by volunteering to pick up food donations from local grocery stores, deliver them to the kitchen and clean up afterward. In addition, you can go grocery shopping for them so that they will not have to purchase their groceries for those who need them.
Community Kitchen Thanksgiving Meal’s main mission is to feed hungry individuals in our community. To do this, they have partnered with Holland USA to provide the ability to feed more than one thousand individuals on Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving meal will be served at the Community Kitchen on November 13 from 1–4 pm.
If you do not have the opportunity to volunteer with the Community Kitchen, you can help out by donating food or monetary donations to their cause. You can donate at Christmas or Thanksgiving. The holiday meal will be served at the church on November 10 during the evening service. Snacks, such as sandwiches and fruit, will be provided.
Holland Rescue Mission’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet
At the Great Thanksgiving Banquet, which will take place on November 24 at the DeVos Fieldhouse on the Hope College campus in Holland, located at 222 Fairbanks Avenue, you can lend a hand in ensuring the success of the annual tradition and feeding more than one thousand guests.
You can visit hollandrescue.org or give them a call at 616-396-2200. Holland Rescue Mission’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet also welcomes volunteers who would like to serve at the Thanksgiving Day Banquet but cannot attend the volunteer training and reception that will be held on Thursday, November 16, from 6–8 pm.
More than one thousand homeless individuals will enjoy a turkey feast, and you can help by visiting them. Holland Rescue Mission’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet’s main mission is to feed hungry individuals in our community.
To do this, they have partnered with Holland USA to provide them with the ability to feed more than one thousand individuals on Thanksgiving. The Great Thanksgiving Banquet is held annually on the Hope College campus in Holland. This will be the 24th time it has taken place at DeVos Fieldhouse in November.
At the Great Thanksgiving Banquet, which will take place on November 24 at the DeVos Fieldhouse on the Hope College campus in Holland, located at 222 Fairbanks Avenue, you can lend a hand in ensuring the success of the annual tradition and feeding more than one thousand guests. You can visit hollandrescue.org or give them a call at 616-396-2200.
Christian Neighbors (Douglas) Thanksgiving Meal Kit Distribution
Christian Neighbors’ thanksgiving meal kits will be given out on Monday, November 20, from 9:30–11 am. The meal kits are given out to anyone in need of food assistance.
Donate non-perishable food items or offer your time on the 22nd or 23rd of November to assist with the distribution of Thanksgiving meal kits at Community Church of Douglas, located at 6874 Wiley Road in Fennville. Christian Neighbors (Douglas) Thanksgiving Meal Kit Distribution also welcomes volunteers.
If you do not have the opportunity to volunteer with Christian Neighbors (Douglas) Thanksgiving Meal Kit Distribution, you can help out by donating food or monetary donations to their cause. You can donate at Christmas or Thanksgiving.
You can also help by volunteering to pick up food donations from local grocery stores, deliver them to the kitchen and clean up afterward. In addition, you can go grocery shopping for them so that they will not have to purchase their groceries for those who need them. Christian Neighbors (Douglas) Thanksgiving Meal Kit Distribution’s main mission is to feed hungry individuals in our community.
Holland Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has been serving Thanksgiving dinners to Holland residents since 1941. Last year over 1,500 people were served, and this year they hope to serve around 2,000.
The meals are served at five different locations: at the Village Inn in Holland on November 23 from 9 am-1 pm; the Village Inn in Holland on November 27 from 5:30–6:30 pm; the Community Kitchen at Western Theological Seminary on Wednesday, November 25 from 6–8 pm Ring the bell to raise money for the Salvation Army in Holland, which will be used to assist low-income families in southern Ottawa County and Allegan County in the year 2022.
This assistance may take the form of rental assistance, assistance with food costs, or programs designed to break the cycle of generational poverty. If you would like to help out in the 2018 challenge for the Salvation Army, you can donate your time or money.
The Salvation Army has been serving Thanksgiving dinners to Holland residents since 1941. Last year over 1,500 people were served, and this year they hope to serve around 2,000. Salvation Army also hosts an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving dinner, on Thursday, November 18, from 5:30–9 pm. The cost is $10 per person and includes a full plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and other vegetables.
Salvation Army’s main mission is to provide various social services and programs to help people in need compassionately, especially at Christmas time.
The Salvation Army accomplishes this through hard work and generous donations from the community. The main goal of the Holland Salvation Army is to assist low-income families in southern Ottawa County and Allegan County with much-needed food, shelter, rent/mortgage assistance, utilities, clothing, and counseling/mentoring.
Organizations Give back to Community make the holiday brighter for someone else
Cram the Cruisers for Harvest Stand Ministries
Cram, the Cruisers for Harvest Stand Ministries, is a non-profit Christian organization that organizes drivers to provide food and other items to needy individuals. They have no religious restrictions on who they serve and will also accept non-food items, toys, books, and clothing.
They also collect food, which local companies donate. The volunteers are asked to leave their cars on the street in front of the Holland Armory, where they will spend time visiting with residents of Holland, handing out their bags, and filling out surveys.
The donations will be delivered to local food pantries and other agencies. Volunteers must fill out the surveys, or you can help deliver a bag of food. You could donate money or other items such as cereal boxes, canned goods, etc.
Cram the Cruisers for Harvest Stand Ministries is a non-profit Christian organization that organizes drivers to provide food and other items to needy individuals. 11 am to 4 pm on December 11 at the Zeeland location of Family Fare, which is located at 9479 Riley St. in Zeeland. Donations of new, unrolled toys, clothing and non-perishable food items will be distributed to families in need through Harvest Stand Ministries.
Please assist the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and the Zeeland Police Department in “cramming the cruisers” with your contributions to these items. The target weight is 5,000 pounds of food.
Anyone who donates a toy or non-perishable food item will receive a free, special edition of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office’s 2018 Holiday Card. In addition, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and the Zeeland Police Department will be hosting a Family Fun Day. The event is free and open to the public on Saturday, December 8, at Ottawa Hills High School.
Douglas Police Department Holiday Gift Card Drive
The Douglas Police Department will collect donations of new, unwrapped toys, clothing, and food items for children’s holiday gift baskets. The drive is coordinated by the Holland-Zeeland Booster Club and is sponsored by Allegan Ford. Donations can be dropped off at the police department in Holland.
If you have more items to donate, you can leave them at one of three locations: the Holland Police Department, Zeeland South High School Library, or Zeeland North High School Library. You have until December 13 to deliver gift cards to grocery stores like Meijer, Aldi, or Walmart to the Douglas Police Department located at 47 W.
Center Street in Douglas, or you can mail them to P.O. Box 815 in Douglas, Michigan. The Douglas Police Department is asking for donations of new, unwrapped toys, clothing, and food items for children’s holiday gift baskets. They will work with the Holland Salvation Army to organize the gift cards and help provide these items to needy families. The Douglas Police Department will collect these donated items until December 15.
Angel Tree Toy Drive, Holland Salvation Army
The Holland Salvation Army will host their annual Angel Tree Toy Drive on Sunday, December 2, from 12–3 pm at the Holland Armory. This donation drive will provide children under 18 with toys like dolls, games, books, and bikes.
The goal is to get a good supply of toys for the children who need them, and this event provides a great way for people to help. Donations for this year’s Angel Tree are being accepted until December 9. Help give Christmas presents to less fortunate children. Take a tag off the Angel Tree displayed at a participating business, church, or school, and then return an unwrapped gift to the tree in exchange for the tag.
Lakeshore Toys for Tots
Lakeshore Toys for Tots program is an organization that provides toys to children in need through the generosity of residents. The Lakeshore Marine Corps League coordinates the Holland Toys for Tots process.
The mission of this non-profit 501(c)(3) organization is to assist needy families with toys for their children, to provide aid and support to members of the community, and most importantly, to keep alive the spirit of giving. The organization ensures that the toys are purchased responsibly. The toys are not used and will be given to the children. Toys for Tots also provide holiday meals.
Lakeshore Toys for Tots program is an organization that provides toys to children in need through the generosity of residents. The Lakeshore Marine Corps League coordinates the Holland Toys for Tots process. You can drop off brand-new, unwrapped toys for children aged 0 to 16 at various collection boxes located in businesses all over Allegan.
You can also drop off toys at these locations: Allegan County District Library, Holland City Hall, Holland Public Library, Holt Police Department, Lakeshore Marine Corps League, Holland Theatres, and Petland in the Shops of Westshore Mall. The deadline for toy collection is Saturday, December 8. You can volunteer your time for this cause or donate money to purchase toys. You could also sponsor a child that does not have a gift.
Adopt a Family
Adopt a Family is a program of the YMCA of Ottawa County that provides children an opportunity to receive gifts and spend time with their new family during the Christmas holidays. Adopt a Family is open to all children. Toys, food, and monetary donations are accepted year-round.
You can “adopt” a family during the holiday season through the Volunteers of America-Michigan organization and provide them with a holiday meal and at least one new wardrobe, and one new toy per child in the family. This can be done through the organization.
You could also adopt a family through the YMCA of Michigan. This can take place after Thanksgiving but before Christmas. The children will be able to spend some time with their new families at the YMCA’s Christmas All-You-Can-Eat Holiday Dinner and Open House on Sunday, December 23, from 1 pm to 4 pm, or on Saturday, December 22, from 11 am to 2 pm at 4520 West Ottawa Lake Road in Holland.
Community Action of Allegan County Holiday Giving Drive
Community Action of Allegan County is asking for new, unwrapped toys to be distributed to needy children. You could also donate food or clothing items that may be needed as well. Monetary donations are also welcome to support their mission.
We need donations of Christmas gifts for children, adolescents, and older adults. Donations are currently being accepted at the Allegan Police Department and the Allegan Fire District, and additional collection points will be announced. Donations can be dropped off at the Allegan Police Department, which is located at 201 E. Mitchell Street in Allegan, or you can mail them to Community Action of Allegan County’s office, which is located at 3124 Leonard Street in Allegan.
The Holland Downtown Development Authority Holiday Wine Walk and Gift Fair will take place on Friday night, December 21, from 4 pm to 9 pm, and Saturday, December 22, from 11 am to 7 pm.
Where to find help for yourself or someone you know
St. Vincent de Paul Centre
Volunteers are needed daily at the St. Vincent de Paul Centre to prepare food, sort clothing, and goods, and assist people who need help meeting basic needs. The centre is open seven days a week and provides many opportunities to help needy families. St. Vincent de Paul Centre offers volunteer positions for the holiday season. They also offer a special volunteer program for people with disabilities, who can visit their site to learn more about how they can help.
St. Vincent de Paul is a food pantry, which means they help families during the holidays by providing them with food and additional meals throughout the year. Volunteers are needed to assist with serving food and shopping at the food pantry location, as well as working at events or making calls to inform people of other ways they can assist.
Address: 170 W. 13th St., Holland
Good Samaritan Ministries
This organization is great for volunteers to help deliver food and services to those in need. Volunteers are needed to help individuals navigate assistance programs and more and provide transportation to various events.
This is an organization that provides help both locally and around the world. While they will not be offering volunteer opportunities at their holiday events this year due to their high number of volunteers, they are always looking for volunteer drivers who can assist in transporting goods for their efforts worldwide. Housing assistance, eviction prevention care services, transitional housing, financial education, and mentoring.
It offers free food to those in need and an opportunity to volunteer. Volunteers are needed both during the holiday season and throughout the year at many of their sites. Volunteers are needed to lead activities, such as cooking lunches to serve individuals who come through the food pantry or preparing meals for children who come through their Christmas program. Good Samaritan Ministries also offers a Christmas Wish program where children are invited to bring a Christmas wish list to Santa, and volunteers help grant those wishes.
In addition to providing food, clothing, and literacy programs for families, Volunteers of America works to keep individuals from falling into homelessness and provides employment opportunities for people who want a chance to make it on their own. Volunteers are needed during the holiday season to serve food, make calls on behalf of those in need, or run their gift shop.
Address: 513 E. Eighth St., Ste 25, Holland
Community Action of Allegan County
This is a great place to volunteer your time this holiday season. Volunteers are needed to help make Christmas special for those in need, helping them prepare food baskets and deliver them to the specific families who will benefit from this assistance. If you do not have time to help with the delivery of baskets, you can still be a part of something special by collecting items for the baskets or volunteering at their annual holiday party for children.
While they will not be hosting their annual holiday party this year due to a high number of volunteers, there are plenty of other ways you can help. Community Action of Allegan County offers programs that help individuals build their credit, get into homes, finish school, and more. They also offer assistance in purchasing gifts for children who may not receive anything this year and working with the “make-a-wish” foundation.
People with disabilities are just as deserving of a merry holiday season as every other individual out there. As a volunteer, you can help ensure that kids with disabilities know they are loved by delivering a handmade cards to them or assisting them as they write their cards. It is always hard to be apart from your family during the holidays, and parents with disabilities will appreciate any efforts you can make to help them have a wonderful time.
Starting during the holiday season is great, but there are plenty of reasons for you to consider volunteering year-round. When you help others in need, you are helping yourself and your loved ones. Your volunteer hours serve as a small token of thanks for the blessings your family and friends have provided to you over the years, and they will make sure to help others in return to thank you as well.
Address: 323 Water St., Allegan
Ladders of Hope Food Pantry
You can help those in need right where you live. Each day, volunteers are needed to help with various jobs, such as assisting with food sorting, delivering meals to families in need, providing holiday gifts for children who come through the pantry, wrapping gifts at the drop-off location, and more.
This organization provides food assistance during the holidays and throughout the year. Each food pantry location has a different focus, and volunteers are needed to help provide food to communities that otherwise may not have access to it.
There is no better way to give back than to help others in need. By volunteering your time, you can feel good about what you are doing for those who are less fortunate and work towards making your community a better place for all. More often than not, volunteering is taking time out of your day to do something that makes you feel closer to something bigger than yourself. Don’t forget to check out Ottawa County, Michigan Food Pantries!
Address: 717 E. Main St., Fennville
Holland Rescue Mission
This shelter is an organization that helps people every day. Each day, volunteers are needed to assist with various tasks at the shelter. Volunteers are needed for cleanup after meals, making beds, and much more.
There is no holiday season without a celebration, which may be one of the most important. You can donate if you want to celebrate with your family and friends but can’t afford to buy gifts this holiday season! Donations like these allow the organization to feed hungry families and children daily. This ensures that they have plenty of food during the holidays and allows the children who may not otherwise have Christmas presents to have something special.
Whether you have time off work or need a place to spend the holidays, there are plenty of organizations that will be able to use your help. Holland Rescue Mission also assists those who need help getting back on their feet after a rough patch. While we are lucky to have a place to call home and plenty of food, things like clothing and hygiene products could be the difference between having a successful future and one filled with hardships.
These organizations can use your time, effort, or money this holiday season. It is a great way to give back to your community and provide you with some of the best memories.
While the time you have to give may be limited, there are various ways to use it this holiday season. From helping out at a local shelter or providing food to families in need, volunteering your time will allow you to spend less money on gifts and more on fun activities with family and friends during the holidays.
Hungry for Christ: This food pantry is the closest shelter to Saginaw that assists those who need it. To contribute, you can volunteer your time as an unofficial member of their “help-a-thon.” More specifically, volunteers are needed to assist with cleaning and sorting out the hundreds of cans and boxes donated by individuals and companies daily.
Address: 166 S. River Ave., Holland
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you volunteer if you are under 18?
It depends on the organization, but some organizations allow children to volunteer. Online, you can usually find information about what kind of activities you can get involved with and a link to their specific application form. You should contact the organization to see if they have a program that is perfect for you!
What ideas for gifts will go a long way?
There are a plethora of options, the first being gift cards. Most people are already receiving gift cards for the holidays. Some may be receiving too many. If you know someone with a small family or only one or two kids, gift cards can go a long way. They’ll appreciate the thought, and it will help them purchase items they really need.
How to help less fortunate people?
Some organizations require that you be physically able to give that service, so inquire about their requirements before volunteering. There are also a lot of organizations that have fundraising events, such as yard sales and bake sales, that you can participate in. You can always make donations! If you don’t have extra money lying around, there are websites like giving back that allows you to browse through different organizations’ rules and regulations and then donate money on their behalf.
What if you can’t afford a gift this year?
Don’t worry! Some organizations will allow you to donate. For example, if you want to help people but don’t want to buy them anything expensive, you can donate your money. You also have the option of volunteering your time, and that is even more important! Online, organizations will have specific information on what they need help with and what they can do.
Now that you know more about the Guide to volunteer and holiday-giving opportunities this holiday season and ways to give back this season, it’s time to start looking for ways to get involved! Whether you want to provide assistance for those in need or help out in other ways, plenty of organizations can use your help. Donating money or volunteering your time is a great way to spend less on gifts and more on other things that will make this holiday season even better.
Christmas is not the same for everyone, but while you can’t make it the same for others, you can help improve it! Helping out at a food pantry, shelter, or community center will provide children and families with a great holiday experience. So pick an organization close to your heart, find out what they do, and get involved! You may be surprised at the difference helping others makes in your life and those who are helped.
The holidays are supposed to be merry and bright, but not everyone can enjoy them. We should never leave people who are in need out to turn cold or hungry. This can be achieved by donating your surplus money and volunteering your time.