1. Plan Ahead. Just as last-minute gift shopping can be hectic, so can last-minute volunteering. Once you find an organization or a cause to support, do some research and contact them well in advance of the time you want to volunteer. The holiday season can be overwhelming for non-profit organizations because of the high influx of volunteers, so be patient and plan early.
2. Invite your friends and family. Volunteering is best enjoyed with a friend (or five). Recruit your family members, coworkers, neighbors, to join in on giving back. Our very own XtremeCares Volunteer Program encourages Xtreme team members to get together for group charity runs, volunteer opportunities at food banks, holiday toy drives, and more. Volunteering is truly an occasion for the more the merrier!
3. Donate. The holiday season can be hectic with traveling, year-end business goals, and weather stresses. If you are unable to find an open day on your calendar to volunteer, donating money or in-kind items can be just as helpful as donating your time. Maybe you can donate a gift, or food, or cold-weather items. During the holiday season, giving feels just as good, if not better than, receiving!
4. Be creative. While non-profit organizations provide structured opportunities to give back, you can do volunteer work this holiday all on your own! Just get creative. Help a neighbor hang their Christmas lights. Drop off groceries at your local food bank. Make holiday cards for deployed troops, veterans or nursing homes. The possibilities are endless.
5. Keep the giving going. November and December are the busiest months of the year for volunteering. However, charities don't need all that help just in that month-and-a-half time frame. If you can’t find an organization that needs your help between now and the end of the year, volunteer in January or February instead. Non-profits and their recipients appreciate your help year-round!