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How to Give Back this Holiday Season: December Volunteer Opportunities

Along with the joy and merriment we feel as the holidays quickly approach comes a desire to give back, to help those in our community. But how and where? We’ve put together a list of organizations that need your support, particularly now! Whether you can donate financially or are looking to volunteer your time, there is an opportunity for you. Read the list below to find out how you can make an impact this holiday season.

Salvation Army Angel Tree Program

The Salvation Army and Walmart have partnered to help millions of children and families in need. Once a child is accepted as an Angel, donors can shop for their Christmas wishlist by picking a tag for different items off the Angel Tree located inside your local Walmart store or by shopping online using Walmart’s Registry for Good. The Salvation Army will distribute them to families in need for Christmas morning. Visit the site to learn more:

Red Cross: Holiday for Heroes

Holiday for Heroes supports the American Red Cross of Michigan’s unique work for hospitalized veterans and veteran families in our community. Support our veterans and their families this holiday season by collecting items to help support their needs. Your contributions will be distributed to hospitalized veterans and veteran families throughout the VA Medical Centers in Michigan, at Michigan Veteran Homes and the Fisher House Michigan. To view their wish list, follow this link:


Haven is a program for domestic violence and sexual assault victims that provides shelter, counseling, advocacy, and educational programming to nearly 30,000 people each year. Donations make it possible for Haven to offer various treatment and prevention programs such as emergency shelter, counseling and support groups, social advocacy, and much more with no cost to the survivors. Their greatest need is financial contributions, but in-kind donations are always welcome. To view their biggest need items or how you can support their mission, visit their site:

Gleaners Community Food Bank

Gleaners provide households with sufficient, nutritious food and related resources. They also provide food to more than 660 partner soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and other agencies across the region. Their operations heavily rely on volunteers to donate resources, collect and sort food, and assist with distribution. To learn more about how you can help by volunteering your time or supporting via donations, visit their site:

Ronald McDonald House

This program provides a home away from home and comfort, support, and resources to families who travel for their child’s medical care. Your generosity this holiday season will allow the program to help more families in need who are focused on caring for their children. You can volunteer by raising funds, cooking, selling merchandise or working in the office, among other options. Or pitch in with monetary donations, as well as gifts of non-perishable foods. There are so many ways to give and support the Ronald McDonald House. Visit their site to learn more about the various ways to help: If you’d like to volunteer to make a meal with your family or friends, see details here:

Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center

Donations are critical to the shelter and help the animals receive proper medical treatment and care. Make a monetary donation to the shelter or visit their Amazon Wishlist to donate items such as dog food, cat litter, blankets, leashes and collars, and toys. Or, if you fall in love with one of their adoptable pets but cannot adopt at the time, you can sponsor an animal from the shelter! You’ll receive monthly updates and pictures of your pet. Visit this site to learn more:

Detroit Dog Rescue

Similarly to Oakland County, you can contribute monetary donations or order much-needed supplies from their Amazon Smile, Chewy, or Menard’s Wishlist. Donations in all forms are vital to their mission of sustaining the first no-kill shelter in the City of Detroit and aid in the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of abused, abandoned and homeless dogs. To learn more about how to donate and support their mission, visit their site:

Written by Jenny Orletski-Dehne, Engagement Manager, Let’s Detroit

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