Where To Volunteer Over The 2013 Holiday Season In L.A.
The holiday season is a joyous time to spend with friends and family, gobbling up delicious meals and exchanging presents. It's also a time to count our blessings and reflect on how others aren't as fortunate as some of us. If you have a hankering to do some good in your community over the holidays, we put together a list of places for you to put in your good Samaritan deeds. In addition, remember the disadvantaged need help all year long, not just during the holidays, so look into how you can volunteer through the coming months.
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
For this nonprofit's annual "Operation Gobble," they need volunteers to help package food for 23,000 low-income seniors, women, and children on Nov. 26 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.. The organization has been fighting hunger in the L.A. community for over 40 years. Register for the event online and find more info on their website.
Gobble Gobble Give
Gobble Gobble Give is looking for volunteers to help cook, package, and deliver food to the homeless. The event commences on Nov. 28 at 10 a.m. at the Echo in Echo Park, and requires volunteers to bring a heated "potluck" dish, toiletry kits, clothing, and blankets. Feel free to donate money for food and supplies or learn more about how to volunteer here.
Union Station Homeless Services
Union Station has been hosting Holiday Dinners-In-The-Park for more than 35 years, feeding the homeless, elderly, and low-income families. Although their volunteer registration for Thanksgiving is full, they are still accepting donations of store-bought pies before Thanksgiving to be delivered to their location at 412 S. Raymond Ave. in Pasadena. Registration for Union Station's Christmas Dinner-in-the-Park kickstarts on Dec. 1. They suggest a donation of $10 in conjunction with volunteering to help pay for costs. More info can be found on their website.
One Incredible Family
One Incredible Family's 20th annual Homeless Feeding/Banner Creation will take place on Nov. 30 from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Westchester Masonic Center in Playa Del Rey. They need volunteers to help prepare, package, and deliver meals to shelters, as well as clean up the site. In addition, they could use home-cooked turkeys, pies, rolls, juice boxes, and water delivered to them. They serve shelters for the disadvantaged, including the homeless, people with AIDS or HIV, runaways, and more. Get more info on their website.
Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run
If you're looking for a more active way to donate your time and money to the needy, consider the 36th annual Santa Monica to Venice Christmas Run, which takes place on Dec. 7. Money raised for the 5K and 10K race go to Harvest Home, a nonprofit that helps homeless pregnant women and their children in Venice. Holiday costumes are encouraged, dogs are allowed, and registration for the race is open through Dec. 5. Visit their website for more info.
One Voice's Holiday Food Program is an annual event where volunteers put together food baskets and toys for families living on the poverty level. From Dec. 19 to Dec. 22, folks will help sort, package, and deliver food for over 12,500 people, all at Santa Monica's Barker Hangar. For more info and how to register, visit One Voices' website.
If you know of any other volunteering opportunities during the holidays, please feel free to make suggestions in the comments section.