This time of year can be a great time of celebration, laughter, food, and family.
There’s always so much love in the air and, like I’m sure many of you, it always tends to bring me a piece of humbleness and the urge to spread joy to others.
Which is why it can be a fantastic time to come together to support your local community & share the love!
The holiday season is a busy time for many families with so much cooking, gift buying, and socializing to do, not to mention all the exciting winter festivities and other holiday events!
SO, I’ve rounded up a variety of easy ways you can volunteer locally or through national organizations.
You may have seen PUP’s work around and may not realize it. For example: Those Stadium seats installed all around town for trail stops and bus stops, and just for sitting-
Yup. That was PUP!Salvage, Re-use, Recycle baby!
PUP stands for PEOPLE FOR URBAN PROGRESS. They are an Indianapolis-based non-profit that advances good design and civic sustainability. Not only do they give purpose to public spaces but they also salvage a lot of products and create super cute bags, purses, Christmas ornaments and much more! Their stuff is very cool and I highly encourage you to check out their page.
Right now you can join them Fridays to volunteer at their weekly Foam parties. They are working on an exciting reuse project and asking for help. There, you will be removing foam from leather seats as well as cleaning and cutting out materials. PUP saves tons of materials from landfills.
It’s anytime between 3-5pm: Cold local beer and hot coffee provided. (Sounds like my kind of volunteering!)
Wheeler Mission helps the homeless in Indiana. They provide meals, housing, and entrepreneurial opportunities for men, women, and children in both Indianapolis and Bloomington. Volunteer opportunities include serving meals, housekeeping/cleaning, recreation nights, and working in their thrift store. This opportunity to help serve is a great one because you can bring your family along with you!
Children 8 and above can serve meals & housekeeping tasks can be helped with for kids as young as 5! It’s an awesome way to bring happiness to others and create an amazing experience for the kiddos.
They really won’t forget it! Check out how here.
Grace Care Center
Grace Care Center opened July 2012 to bring healing to the broken places of this world by providing care and compassion to our local community. The Care Center serves over 600 families a week through the combined effort of their services.
This volunteer opportunity is with the Choice Food Pantry for people ages 9 and up. Volunteers sort food and other items offered in the pantry as a group from 5:30 to 8/8:30 pm Mondays and Tuesdays.
This organization is a tremendous place to support- Their food pantry is available to offer immediate relief of food and toiletries on a weekly basis ALL YEAR ROUND- they are the definition of caring for our local community.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum seeks to always provide extraordinary experiences for families. Did you know that they are always looking for volunteers to help do this? I wouldn’t have even thought of the Children’s Museum, and I’m so glad I found out! Families with children ages 8 and up can volunteer together at the museum. Volunteer together this holiday season and see the special Jolly Days Winter Wonderland from Nov. 25, 2016–Jan. 8, 2017. What kid would not love volunteering here?!
Animal Adoption Foundation
Animal lover?! Me too! The Animal Adoption Foundation or AAF is a local non-profit no-kill shelter for dogs and cats that have been abused or abandoned.
AAF provides a safe and humane environment for dogs and cats that are waiting to be adopted. I don’t know about you, but nothing would make this cold weather warmer than opening my heart up for these furry friends. Talk about a volunteer dream come true!
You can sign up to help out at a community adoption event or serve as a shelter volunteer. Check out here how to register for their volunteer orientation!
Exodus Refugee Organization
Exodus has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylees from many countries, cultures, languages, & faiths. In its 38-year history, Exodus has served refugees from more than 34 countries. Truly Incredible! Volunteer opportunities include sorting donations, completing special projects, and organizing the storage area. This organization also welcomes youth age 13 and up.
There are so many companies and organizations needing volunteers, especially around this busy time of the year. Indyhub.org is an awesome site to navigate how to get involved with your community and has ways you can even categorize your search for a more specific type of service you’d be interested in.
If you’re looking for something to do with the whole family, You can find more opportunities at https://indywithkids.com/families-can-volunteer-indy-holidays/ as well.