Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

family volunteer

Family volunteer opportunities around Thanksgiving, Christmas and beyond

There are so many ways you can help!

Originally published 2018, updated for 2020: Many families are more determined than ever to incorporate giving back into the season of giving thanks.  These websites can help you find volunteer opportunities for your whole family. All of these organizations are helping families cope with the coronavirus pandemic and have adjusted their systems accordingly. 

Also: If you’d like to adopt a family for the holidays, here are resources for that. And here are more places to donate and ways to share the love.


Family volunteer idea: Find your best fit

Seattle Works
Offers a searchable database of volunteer opportunities. Filters for age of volunteer, populations you’d like to help, and ZIP code-specific activities that find the best fit for your family. A recent search turned up needs for everything from knitting to tutoring to general maintenance to helping out at a COVID-19 testing site. 

United Way of King County
Searchable database of volunteer activities that enables you to search for family-friendly options. United Way’s website has this message: “We are working closely with other community-based organizations to share their most immediate needs during the COVID-19 crisis—from online volunteering to phone banking, we list the latest needs from the community.”

Volunteer Match
Searchable database allows you to filter results based on specific causes, as well as matches that are a good fit for kid and teen volunteers. A recent check revealed 11,287 potential volunteer opportunities, so surely there is something that will fit your family’s interests and abilities!

Doing Good Together
Compiles lists of family-friendly volunteering opportunities called Big-Hearted Families. Listings aren’t searchable/sortable, but all opportunities are created with families in mind and with a general theme of kindness. Age restrictions are included in the listings.

Family volunteer idea: Host a food drive

A food drive is something your whole family can be involved in. Many organizations provide resources such as printable flyers, collection containers and pickup at the conclusion of your drive. Here are just a few of the organizations you could partner with:

Food Driving Box Northwest
Provides boxes that you keep in your car with a list of most-needed items, the idea being that you can pick up a few things every time you buy groceries for the family. Boxes are available at the 27 Seattle food banks under the auspices of Solid Ground. They also can be found at Satsuma Kids Shop in Wedgwood, 8511 35th Ave. N.E.

Food Lifeline
A member of Feeding America, Food Lifeline distributes donations to 275 member agencies across Western Washington and welcomes assistance via food drives conducted either online or in real life.

Northwest Harvest
Statewide nonprofit that uses donations to provide more than 2 million meals to Washingtonians every month.

Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County
Works with more than 200 partner agencies across King County to provide food bags to anyone in need, supplying 430,000 meals per year.

Offers food bank, food delivery and emergency feeding services to families in crisis in the following areas: Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Shoreline and Sno-Valley.