Spreading Good Cheer: Places your family can volunteer this holiday season
Maya, when she was 6, raised more than $2,000 for Wellspring Family Services.
PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON
The holidays are a wonderful time to gather as a family and give back to the community. Many local organizations are looking for donations of time, money or goods at this time of year. Introducing volunteering and service to children is also a great way of getting into the season of giving. Regular volunteering imparts to children a lifelong service ethic and helps improve our community.
We’ve gathered a list of organizations that can use your family’s volunteer time and skills this holiday season.
Every year, the Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County (EFP) provides more than 420,000 meals throughout King County. Located in Renton, the EFP is always looking for volunteers of all ages to help pack food bags, provide help at distribution sites and host food drives. Additionally, food or money donations are greatly appreciated. emergencyfeeding.org
PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON
Maya created this T-shirt design and sold more than 50 shirts, donating the money to Wellspring.
Wellspring Family Services provides social and mental health services for vulnerable individuals and families. Wellspring’s Kids Helping Kids program is a simple way to get kids started with generosity. Kids can collect donations in a jar provided by Wellspring; they’ll receive a tour of the facilities when they return the full jar. wellspringfs.org
Food Lifeline accepts volunteers as young as 6 to help repackage bulk donations of food in its Shoreline food bank. Food Lifeline, which calls itself the food bank’s food bank, provides surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores and restaurants to other food banks. foodlifeline.org
Treehouse is dedicated to providing foster kids with basic necessities along with summer camps, educational support and more. They have multiple volunteer opportunities for kids 6 and up, or children can host a holiday donation drive to collect toys for holiday celebrations. treehouseforkids.org
The Atlantic Street Center has helped families thrive for more than a century. Volunteer opportunities are for those 13 and up. Teens can provide homework assistance, sort baby clothes and help during Family Study Time. atlanticstreetcenter.org
For additional volunteer opportunities, search the Doing Good Together website for family-friendly opportunities under the Big-Hearted Families section. Doing Good Together works to help families give back to their communities with free monthly listings. Age restrictions are included in each listing. doinggoodtogether.org