We associate many things with the year-end holidays. It’s a special time to gather together with loved ones and celebrate strong ties of family and friendship. While it is certainly a time of feasting and gift-giving, it is also a time for being grateful and for giving back. It’s an excellent opportunity as well, to reach out to local charities that need our help to do their work. This includes religious organizations and nonprofits that feed the hungry and provide clothing and shelter to those who are struggling. It’s not just financial help that these organizations need to operate, they need human power in the form of volunteers too.
It’s the season of giving and the people of Vancouver, WA are some of the most generous folks you’ll find anywhere. Read our list of 8 Vancouver, WA charities that need volunteers for the holidays this year.
1. Share Vancouver
Since 1979, Share has worked to improve the lives of the homeless and hungry in the Vancouver area. Share provides outreach programs, emergency services and shelters, free nutritious meals, food for hungry children, subsidized housing, and more. Share provides assistance to over 10,000 individuals in Clark County each year with over 2,000 volunteers, and when the holiday season approaches, the need for food and shelter becomes crucial. Share has many volunteer opportunities during the 2021 holiday season, including preparing and serving meals at the hot meals program at the Share House, filling backpacks of food for distribution, organizing the warehouse, data entry, helping with the holiday cheer program, hosting children’s activities, fundraising, and much more! Check out Share Vancouver today to see what you can provide this holiday.
2. Santa’s Posse
Santa’s Posse was created in 1997 with the goal to help families in need during the holiday season and create a positive connection between law enforcement and the community. Santa’s Posse delivers food, gifts, and personal care items to over 1,200 families, and in 2021, Santa’s Posse will provide Christmas for more than 3,000 children in the Vancouver community. Santa’s Posse always appreciates volunteers and the time they dedicate to helping the cause, and they will need extra help loading gifts and food boxes into trucks for its Delivery Day event on December 19, 2021. You can also contact Santa’s Posse about other volunteer opportunities so you can help make the holidays extra special.
3. Society of St. Vincent de Paul
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides many services including the distribution of food and clothing, rental assistance, and utility assistance for those in need. Approximately 80 weekly volunteers average 1,200 monthly hours to help the needy within the community. St. Vincent de Paul is excited for volunteers this holiday season to help with Thanksgiving food boxes, coats and shoes, Christmas food boxes, and gifts. The holidays always call for more volunteers, and you can help in numerous ways including providing office support, distributing food at the pantry window, sorting, and distributing clothing at the window, and packing and distributing food boxes at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
4. Children’s Center
Children’s Center was founded in 1989 because citizens were concerned about the inadequacy of mental health services provided to vulnerable youth and families. Children’s Center is dedicated to bringing quality mental health to children and families within the community and making sure that those individuals are treated with dignity and respect. If you would like to make an impact during the holiday season with Children’s Center by using your skills or time, there are many volunteer opportunities. You can host a food drive, for example the Holiday Food Drive during the month of October and November for families to enjoy meals prior to the holidays, or you can volunteer for the Holiday Toy Drive for children. Contact Children’s Center today to see how you can help during this holiday season.
5. Clark County Food Bank
Clark County Food Bank distributes an astonishing 8 million pounds of food and 6.7 million meals a year! With the mission to alleviate hunger and its root causes, Clark County Food Bank distributes shelf-stable food, fresh produce, frozen and refrigerated food, and bulk dry food products to numerous agencies within Clark County to feed approximately 65,000 hungry individuals. Clark County Food Bank also has programs revolving around nutrition education, farming, SNAP assistance, community outreach, and advocacy. There are many volunteer opportunities at the Clark County Food Bank where over 8,200 individuals donate nearly 66,000 hours of service a year, and that help does not end during the holidays. Become a volunteer at Clark County Food Bank this holiday season and help alleviate hunger.
6. YWCA Clark County
As part of the largest and longest-running multicultural women’s organization in the world, the YWCA of Clark County continues to empower women, eliminate racism, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The YWCA empowers women through its myriad programs that rely on professional and volunteer services. The holidays prove to be a vulnerable time for women and their children facing hardship, and volunteering is more important than ever! If you would like to be a part of the YWCA holiday volunteer group, you can assist in many areas, including helping with workshops, community outreach, advocacy, spending valuable time with seniors, packing gift bags, or helping run the holiday shop!
7. Lutheran Community Services Northwest
Lutheran Community Services Northwest strives to bring equality and justice to all individuals facing the hardest of challenges, and while there are volunteer opportunities to help its cause, the holiday season brings a special need for volunteers. Santa for Seniors brings joy to isolated seniors feeling lonely during the holidays. As half of all seniors reported feeling lonely on a regular basis, the holidays can make the feelings of loneliness worse. Lutheran Community Services recognizes seniors as vital members of the Vancouver community and brings meaningful gifts to the seniors who need them most. Contact Lutheran Community Services and see how you can contribute during the holiday season.
8. FISH of Vancouver
FISH of Vancouver provides free nutritionally-balanced food to both individuals and families when they need it most. For more than 50 years FISH has helped people facing poverty and unemployment, ranging from young to elderly. In 2019-2020, FISH served 15,744 households including 43,938 individuals, and volunteers donated more than 27,000 hours of service helping food boxes find their way to hungry families. As the holidays approach, food, and services for the needy become crucial, and volunteering at FISH of Vancouver is a wonderful way to give back during the holiday season. You can volunteer at FISH as a driver/hauler, front room monitor, food box stocking assistant, front desk receptionist, snack bad distributor, clothing volunteer, and more. There are many opportunities for you and your family to help FISH during the holidays.