How to Volunteer Over the Holidays

This is part of our charitable “How To“ series. Today we are talking about finding ways to volunteer over the holidays. Check back for more charity, donor related instruction!

The holidays are fast approaching and it is a great time to give back to those in need. Volunteering over the holidays is a great way to make a difference and can work great for many people including those that are really busy and only have a few hours to give. It’s also a great idea for students that are on their winter break and want to find a more frequent role for the next few weeks. Here are a few tips to follow if you would like to volunteer over the holidays.

1. Find out what type of volunteering roles you would be interested in: During the holidays there are many different roles that exist at an organization including wrapping gifts for children, delivering food to the homeless, helping with a holiday party or even singing and providing entertainment. These are just a few of the many options. And there are also the volunteering roles organizations are always in need of. So find a volunteering activity that you would enjoy the most!

2. Find a volunteer opportunity and sign up: This time of the year it’s best to try to find volunteer opportunities for organizations that have specific needs to fill over the next few weeks. You can always volunteer with larger organizations with ongoing needs such as The Salvation Army or The Greater Chicago Food Depository. You could also search for specific opportunities to find something that you would be interested in. Chicago Cares is a great resource to use in searching for volunteer opportunities as it gives you specific times for the opportunities.This allows you to find something that works with your schedule.

You can also submit a donation of volunteering on Zealous Good. You’ll be able to see  if there are any holiday volunteer opportunities with our charity members. If there are, charities will send a request directly to you describing what they are looking for and how you can help.

3. Confirm your time with the organization and get any other details: Make sure that you have confirmed your time with the organization so that they know you are coming and will be prepared. Also make sure to get any details such as how the organization would like you to dress or if there is anything that you should bring with you. Once you arrive the staff will help you get settled and tell you any important information and provide any training that is necessary for your role.

4. Volunteer and do some good: Go volunteer and enjoy it! You may meet and get the chance to interact with some of the people that directly benefit from the organization’s work. You might also meet other volunteers who share the same interests as you as well as staff members who can tell you more about the organization and how it is making a difference.

5. Feel Good: You have just volunteered and given your time to help those in need. If you would like to do it on a more regular basis just ask the organization and they will be glad to tell you about future opportunities and how you can become more involved. Now you can tell all your friends about how much good can be done by donating a few hours of their time and what they can do to help!


  1. […] 3. Think outside the charitable box. No longer is donating money the only way to give back. Donating items, known as in-kind donations, and donating your time are incredibly necessary to a nonprofit’s survival. Our “How to Volunteer Over the Holidays” is a great resource for finding volunteer opportunities year-round. […]

    January 6, 2013

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