Volunteering Forum

 View Only
  • 1.  Volunteering During the Holiday Season

    Posted 21 days ago
    Edited by Taylor Evans Ghosal 21 days ago

    Can you believe we're a week out from Thanksgiving? I've enjoyed the switch to sweater weather and I'm really looking forward to seeing my family, but it's got me thinking about all the other end-of-year holidays and celebrations coming up.

     

    With the holiday season around the corner, lots of us are looking to give back to our communities and express our gratitude for those around us. An article from the University of Texas Dallas estimates volunteering increases by 50% in November and December!

     

    Whether you're a first-time volunteer or a seasoned pro looking for a new opportunity, there are plenty of holiday volunteer options to fit your schedule and talents. Doing Good Together, a national nonprofit based in Minnesota, has a list of 12 Holiday Volunteering Tips on its website, featuring different ways to volunteer.

     

    Some of them are classics, and others put a creative spin on holiday giving. I think my favorite idea on the list has to be the calendar of giving, which involves families choosing a service project a month to complete together. Planning your volunteering throughout the year is a wonderful way to ensure year-round giving!

     

    I'm curious to hear how you give back this time of year. Your ideas may spur someone to volunteer this holiday season and beyond.

     

    - Do you volunteer during the holidays? If so, where do you like to volunteer?

    - Do you have any "out-of-the-box" ideas for holiday giving?

    - Do you have any tips on finding the opportunity that's a good fit?

    - Does your community organize any special initiatives, such as coat drives, to assist those in need? Feel free to link them below!



    ------------------------------
    Taylor Evans Ghosal
    Evanston IL
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Volunteering During the Holiday Season

    Posted 21 days ago
    Great commentary and information on volunteering. I know the holidays tug at the heartstrings of many and they want to do something to help others during these special days and that is great. I would suggest for those that have the time and the desire, to consider volunteering year round.  I represent the Rotary Club of Chicago Citywide Service and we are a non-traditional Rotary Club organized under a relatively new organizational format.  Rather than having weekly meeting with speakers, we  have 2-3 hands on community service projects that are very diverse in nature  (and 1 annual international service project). Members choose, based on their schedule and interests, which projects they are going to join.     

    In answer to the questions posed:

    - Do you volunteer during the holidays? If so, where do you like to volunteer? Members are working as a judges in a regional school Robotic competition at a school in McKinley Park and members are volunteering at Growing Home"s "Share the love Englewood Winterfest".  (Growing Home, located in the Englewood community, is the only USDA-Certified  organic farm in Chicago proper). Efforts are also underway to work at a breakfast program in the South Loop for the homeless population.    

    - Do you have any "out-of-the-box" ideas for holiday giving? Not really out of the box but Christmas cards and gifts for children in the hospital. 

    - Do you have any tips on finding the opportunity that's a good fit? Social media and Eventbrite. We advertise our volunteer opportunities on both sites. We have some events that do not have volunteers caps so these are open to the public.  Other projects, for example, cooking meals at the Ronald McDonald House at Comers  Children, projects at the Pilsen Food Pantry and the Nourishing Hope (used to be Lakeview Food Pantry), Lasagna Love for the Love Fridge project (lot of love!), all have limitations on the number of volunteers so although these are placed on Eventbrite, they are not published publicly so only members can see them.  Shameless plug - if you live in the Chicagoland area, consider joining our Club if you are looking for at volunteering opportunities year round!       

    - Does your community organize any special initiatives, such as coat drives, to assist those in need? Feel free to link them below! We just completed collecting winter coats for homeless veterans as part of a more regional project. 



    ------------------------------
    Jim Wales
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Volunteering During the Holiday Season

    Posted 20 days ago
    Thanks for weighing in, @Jim Wales! Your responses are so thoughtful and provide some helpful resources for people who are looking to get involved at this time of the year.​

    ------------------------------
    Taylor Evans Ghosal
    Evanston IL
    ------------------------------