With the holiday season upon us, many families use this as a time to give back. And with more families in need this year than past years, volunteers and donations are needed. But how do you find an opportunity that will work for your family? One website is a one-stop-shop for finding volunteer work.
It doesn't take much to learn what's needed, and it's not hard to get the job done - but what you can do through volunteering your time can mean so much to others.
17-year old James Stang is learning the importance of helping. "You know that you're helping some kid on Christmas, giving them a Merry Christmas." He's volunteering for the Open Door Mission's “Project Santa.”
"I've been sorting all these toys and starting to bag," explains Stang.
His mother was there to help him. "I think it's great. It teaches him responsibility and helping the community and giving back because he has so much, so he can see how others live," says Adrianne Stang.
Candace Gregory with the Open Door Mission adds, "you see an overwhelming gratitude and gratefulness when people come to pick up their toys. When people come to ask for assistance, you can always tell it's a very humbling experience for them."
This year, these toys are needed by even more families – 6,000 children in all.
"We're seeing that almost 30% of those who are asking for help this season have never asked the Open Door Mission for help, and so many of the families are first timers," says Gregory.
Other charities are feeling the same demand, and if you want to help others this holiday season, there’s a website that makes it easy to find a volunteer opportunity. It lists the where’s, when’s and what’s of charities that need volunteers or donations. Click here for the website.
After all, 'tis the season of giving.
"It's driven by volunteers, it's funded by volunteers, and the generosity of community is what provides for this program," says Candace Gregory of “Project Santa.”
The Open Door Mission is looking for more than 500 volunteers to help out with "Project Santa," especially Monday through Friday.