During the holiday season many of us are motivated to give, rather than receive.
If you don’t have much time to spare, it’s always good to donate non-perishable food items to Philabundance, who also seeks volunteers and has information about community food drives (and how to start one) on their website.
Newly-purchased toys are always needed at organizations like the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Cradles to Crayons and Toys for Tots.For folks who find themselves wanting a more hands-on experience, many local organizations, like the Salvation Army, welcome volunteers who can process donated items, make deliveries and work at packaging stations or soup kitchens.
Here is a list of some local Manayunk, Roxborough and East Falls spots to considering volunteering your time:
Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger2901 W. Hunting Park Ave.Philadelphia, PA 19129215-430-0555www.hungerwalk.org
The ‘Coalition’ brings people together to raise funds that assist struggling families in the region with food. Many volunteer opportunities, including collecting and serving food, are listed on their website.
The Salvation Army Kroc Center4200 Wissahickon AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19129215-717-1200www.use.salvationarmy.org
Volunteer as a Bell Ringer and host a kettle. Available volunteer hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Host your own Salvation Army Online Red Kettle by customizing your own Red Kettle page. Then invite others via e-mail to fill your Kettle with secure online donations. Online “Team Kettles” can be hosted by civic groups, church groups and other organizations.
Become a “Toy Distribution Volunteer” and distribute toys to needy families.
Donate a new, unwrapped toy for the third annual Kroc Toy Drive and Aerobics Marathon on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the center. A free workout is offered for those who bring in a toy.
Become a Community Corps Program Volunteer and work with Families Eating and Studying Together (FEAST). Volunteers assist staff to prepare and serve food and help with activities ranging from studies to choral group practice. This program runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday’s.
East Falls VillagePO Box 12672Philadelphia, PA 19129267-444-4507www.eastfallsvillage.org
Member-to-Member volunteers help village members directly by driving them to appointments or by helping them in their homes.
Administrative Volunteers work (in meetings or from their own homes) to keep the organization running smoothly.
Career Wardrobe of East Falls3800 Vaux StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19129215-848-6232www.careerwardrobe.org
Career Wardrobe is an effort of United Way of Greater Philadelphia. “Education Volunteers” are needed to help with resume building, job searching and facilitating workshops.
Volunteers are also needed for fundraising and event committees, fashion opportunities, clothing drives, boutique set-up and more.
The Salvation Army Roxborough Citadel Corps Community Center6730 Ridge AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19128215-483-4120www.use.salvationarmy.org
Volunteer with the center’s “Christmas Toys and Food Program.” The center collects donations for families in the following zip codes: 19118, 19119, 19127, 19128, 19129 and 19150.
Drop off donations to the center’s thrift store, located at 4555 Pechin Street, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. from Monday through Saturday.
Northern Home for Children5301 Ridge AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19128215-482-1423www.northernchildren.org
“Day of Service” projects range from painting bedrooms and off-site trips to museums and amusement parks. Some volunteers use their professional skills to help with specific needs like plumbing and carpentry or to tutor the children in English, reading and math.
“Foster Care Activity Night” allows volunteers to engage children in recreational activities while their foster parents attend a meeting and support group at the center.
Journey’s Way4200 Mitchell StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19128215-487-0567www.journeys-way.org
Journey’s Way welcomes volunteers to help with community meals, run activities, instruct classes, help in the kitchen, host trips and more.
The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education8480 Hagys Mill RoadPhiladelphia, PA 19128215-482-7300www.schuylkillcenter.org
Partake in the center’s “Adopt an Animal” program. When you adopt you make a contribution to the cost of the care for an injured animal. Animal adoptions can be gifts to a friend, family member or colleague.
SHARE2901 W. Hunting Park AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19144215-223-2220www.sharefoodprogram.org
Become a SHARE (Self Help and Resource Exchange) host and make affordable food available to people in your neighborhood. Anyone can start-up a host site in any neighborhood. You can also join SHARE for “Bagging Saturdays” from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or “Bagging Weeks” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at various locations.
Pennsylvania SPCA350 East Erie AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19134215-426-6304www.pspca.org
Volunteer as a foster parent and provide temporary housing and care for an animal sheltered at the Pennsylvania SPCA.
This list will help get you started on your quest to volunteer. Don’t forget to check out local schools, religious institutions and businesses who may also run a food or toy collection drive. The website www.volunteermatch.org helps place volunteers with local charitable organizations