Last week we released the first 2 (of 10) installments of our Holiday Giving and Volunteer Guide and the response has been phenomenal! Thank you so much for your support and feedback. Below you will find a recap of our VIP eNewsletters that went out with details behind our first two ideas. To be the first to know about the rest of the list, please take a moment to sign up for our newsletter – the next installments hit inboxes Tuesday and Thursday afternoon! Now without further ado, here is your Week 1 recap!
Tip 1: Make Plans Early!
The importance of making volunteer plans early in the holiday season cannot be overstated. The spirit of giving during the final months of the year is high, and popular activities like serving food at shelters, signing up for gift wrapping to benefit a charity, and food drives are at an all-time high. To make sure you can accomplish all your holiday volunteer goals, start as early as possible!
Before you jump right in to the first opportunity – make sure it is something that speaks to you. Take a moment to read our handy Volunteering 101 post to learn how to find the right fit. Then, find some resources to help connect you to the right person or organization. Our post about finding volunteer opportunities has a few places you can go for help.
You can also check out our calendar – we share community volunteer opportunities alongside charitable events, and new items are added every day! Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Donate gifts to a family in need by Adopting a Family through the Catholic Family Center. Through this program, you can find families in need of a little extra support this holiday season and purchase gifts from their wishlist.
- Serve a meal to our homeless citizens at Open Door Mission. Kitchen volunteers prepare and serve food, wash dishes, and assist with general clean up.
- Help a senior get around town! Volunteer drivers at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities are the key to independence and safety for older citizens who are no longer able to drive. To learn more, contact Scott Ashley at 585.546.8400 x3160.
Tip 2: Clean or Decorate at a local Organization
- Nursing Homes or Assisted Living facilities: You can focus on common areas but in cases where residents live in their own apartments or patio homes they may not be able to hang decorations but may want them up. Give your local facilities a call to see if help is needed!
- Libraries, town halls, or public gardens: Public areas need love too! It’s easy to clean up public areas like parks or add some decor in your favorite holiday colors to benches, etc.
- FCP Tip: If you want to spruce up a public area near you, call the city first to see if there are rules and regulations. If it is part of a county park, call your Parks Department – locally that is Monroe County Parks!
- Daycare facilities, preschools or elementary schools: Teachers spend a significant amount of their own money to decorate and provide supplies to students (and it’s not all tax-deductible)! In addition to helping decorate, you could consider adopting a classroom to help with supplies throughout the year.
- Local Organizations/Nonprofits:
Rochester is RICH in non-profits, but with annual appeals and winter programming many may be too busy to decorate. Why not contact one of your local favorites and ask if you can go to their location and help them decorate? Out of the box idea: try local animal shelters!
- FCP Tip: Need help finding local nonprofits? Most cities will have a list of nonprofits in the area – if you can’t find one, try your local visitors center. If you are local, check out the list at ROCWiki.org, it is separated by category for easy sorting!