As the holiday season approaches, we tend to reflect on just how blessed we truly are. One of the ways many families celebrate their blessings is by finding ways to give back to the community. Did you know that Thanksgiving Day is one of the busiest volunteer event days of the year for hunger-prevention charities? While several food banks and charities could use the help this season, there are also many other ways to brighten spirits and give a little holiday cheer to those in need.
Charities and nonprofits throughout Atlanta are always accepting volunteers and donations, but even more so throughout the holiday season. We’ve put together a guide to volunteering in metro Atlanta that will help you find the organization that best fits your passions and lifestyle.
Humans are not the only ones who need a little extra TLC around the holiday season! Animal shelter volunteers are always needed. FurKids is one of the only animal rescue groups in Atlanta, and Georgia, that encourages kids to participate in their volunteer projects. Aside from accepting young volunteers, FurKids also has wonderful opportunities for groups of all ages and sizes to help get tails wagging around the shelter!
Atlanta Humane Society relies heavily on volunteers to socialize and walk animals, as well as interact with the public to help find loving fur-ever homes for their animals. Volunteers must make a commitment of six hours per month, be at least 18 years of age, have good communication skills and a desire to work with the public and animals. There are a variety of volunteer positions available on their website–search them by clicking the link above.
Whether you’re searching for a rewarding way to spend your time or looking for opportunities to give back, the patients and families at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) need you. At CHOA, volunteers assist with everything from patient care to customer service and administrative support. There are opportunities for adults, kids, teens, families and companies to volunteer in a variety of ways, such as helping in the gift shop, making deliveries to patients’ rooms and interacting at the bedside.
As a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club, there are several ways for you to get involved through onsite engagement, advocacy and in-kind donations. Individual volunteers serve as support staff, lending a hand to help facilitate afterschool programs and activities that enrich the lives of Club members. Help with homework, tutor, coach sports and more this holiday season with various programs through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta.
Throughout the school year, many children in Atlanta receive free or reduced cost meals. During breaks, many of those children will not receive a hot meal at home. That’s where volunteers with Action Ministries step in to prepare and deliver lunches. Click here to find opportunities in several metro area counties.
MUST is a volunteer-driven organization that addresses the basic needs of individuals, families and children. The organization offers multiple volunteer opportunities during the holiday season for ages 10 and older at its gift shop for those in need. Morning and evening shifts help parents shop in a store full of blankets, pajamas, hats, toys, school supplies, games and much more. Afternoon shifts help restock the shelves. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit mustministries.org.
Whether you’re looking to adopt a family for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or both, you have the opportunity to spread a little holiday cheer by selecting a family and making a donation. A family profile and detailed wish list for each is given to sponsors; once those sponsors adopt the family, they purchase the items on their wish list. Volunteers are always needed to assist with unloading donations, organizing items, wrapping gifts and sorting deliveries. Email email@example.com to volunteer today.
InCommunity needs help at group homes in Marietta and South Fulton for the developmentally disabled. As a volunteer, you’ll bake desserts and take them to the homes and spend time playing games with the adult residents.
Meals on Wheels Atlanta offers four ways to help out, so there’s something for everyone over the age of 13 to do. Volunteers can help with meal delivery, meal preparation, senior centers and the home repair program. Whether you’re great in the kitchen or know your way around a room with a hammer, there’s a spot available for you at Meals on Wheels Atlanta.
The Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot is a tradition throughout communities in Atlanta that allows runners to connect with and give back to the community. There are several Turkey Trots taking place throughout metro Atlanta beginning as early as 8 am on Saturday, November 17, with the Five Star Early Bird Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in Kennesaw. On Thursday, November 22, Thanksgiving Day, the Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K attracts thousands of runners and walkers eager to share in the holiday spirit and give thanks for their health and fitness. The Gwinnett Gobble Wobble, Tryptophan Half Marathon, CHRISTUS St. Michael Turkey Trot 5k and Blue Ridge Turkey Trot are also very popular community events that take place on Thanksgiving Day. Visit www.runguides.com/atlanta/runs to view a full calendar of turkey trots and other races happening in and around Atlanta during the year.
This is just a small list compared to the many organizations in each community that need volunteers this season. Connect with us on social media to let us know the deserving organization that you volunteer with or give back to during the holidays!