Give back this holiday season — sign up for these great volunteer opportunities

For more information on these and other holiday volunteer opportunities, including dates and times, locations, number of volunteers needed, and to sign up, visit HandsOn Central Ohio’s online project calendar at www.volunteercentralohio.org.

Capital Area Humane Society

Holiday Decorating: Help the Capital Area Humane Society bring the spirit of the holidays to its facility! Help sort holiday donations for the animals and decorate public spaces. Decorations are provided.

Children’s Hunger Alliance

Hunger Outreach at First Night Columbus: Reach out at downtown Columbus’ New Year’s Eve celebration, First Night Columbus! Play games with the kids, teach healthy eating with the Trail Mix Assembly Line, and pass out slips with the Children’s Hunger Alliance phone number to spread the word for those who may need their services. It will help you stay awake on New Year’s Eve!

Community Kitchen, Inc.

Thanksgiving Food Preparation: Help prepare turkeys and assist in other kitchen prep for this Thanksgiving meal serving the homeless and others in need.

Far East Neighborhood Pride Center and Barnett Recreation Center

Firefighters 4 Kids Toy Drive Registration Help: Assist parents and guardians in registering for this year’s Firefighters 4 Kids Toy Drive.

Assist In Firefighters 4 Kids Toy Drive Planning: Make calls to community stakeholders (i.e. apartment complexes, churches, businesses), prepare flyers, take calls from parents, organize resource information and research internet resources related to the Firefighters 4 Kids Toy Drive.

Freedom a la Cart

Kitchen and Catering Help: Freedom a la Cart is a structured and supportive workforce development initiative channeled through a food cart and catering social enterprise that employs survivors of human trafficking. It is an initiative of Doma International, a local anti-trafficking agency. Work in the kitchen with them cooking food, catering events, mentoring and more!

Green Lawn Cemetery & Arboretum

Wreathes Across America: Green Lawn is the second largest cemetery in Ohio and serves as the resting place for well-known and influential individuals who made significant contributions to Columbus, the state of Ohio and the entire country. Volunteers will place 600 holiday wreaths on the gravesites of the Spanish-American War veterans in two large sections of the cemetery. Give back this holiday season by remembering those who gave so much for our country.

HandsOn Central Ohio

Schedule Holiday Food Basket Pick-up Appointments: In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday and the winter season, local food pantries will be providing families with all the fixings for a home cooked meal. HandsOn Central Ohio will be taking calls to set up appointments for families to receive a holiday food basket. Volunteers are needed to answer the phone line and schedule appointments. Volunteers will be trained and provided all necessary information for appointment scheduling.

Heinzerling Memorial Foundation

Be Santa!: The Heinzerling Foundation provides residential care and treatment for individuals who are non-ambulatory with severe or profound developmental disabilities. Come out and dress as Santa Claus to distribute gifts to residents at the annual holiday party (gifts and suit provided). Four Santas needed for two locations. Adults only.

Music Makers Needed!: The Heinzerling Foundation provides residential care and treatment for individuals who are non-ambulatory with severe or profound developmental disabilities. Share your musical talents and provide entertainment for residents at their annual holiday party. Four entertainment groups are needed for the party. Families welcome.

Homeless Families Foundation

Help with Holiday Store Setup, Tidying and Cleanup: The Homeless Families Foundation invites volunteers to help set up, tidy and clean the holiday “store” that will allow families to browse and choose gifts that have been donated. 

Homeport

Bright Ideas Book Fair Volunteers: Children living in Homeport communities will pick their favorite books from an approved list and will receive their book at a book fair held just before winter break. Homeport is offering a variety of volunteer opportunities both prior to and on the day of the Bright Ideas Book Fairs. Just a few of the opportunities include creating Book Bank decorations, sorting and checking in book donations, writing a special card for each child, distributing books to children, supervising story time sessions, and making craft tables at each Bright Ideas Book Fair.

Lifecare Alliance

Meals-on-Wheels Delivery: Deliver holiday cheer and hot, nutritious meals to your neighbors who may be elderly, medically challenged or homebound and who receive Meals-on-Wheels. Maps and training are provided.

M3S Sports

Flying Feather 4 Miler: Looking for happy, turkey-chasing volunteers who are looking for a great Thanksgiving morning volunteer event that benefits the 2nd & 7 Foundation! The 2nd & 7 Foundation exists to promote reading by providing free books and positive role models to kids in need while encouraging young athletes of the community to pay it forward. Volunteer roles will depend on needs of the race but will include, but not be limited to registration, parking, course marshals, water station, medals, food and beverage, and wine distribution (must be 21 or older to distribute wine). Volunteers will receive an official race crew hoodie and a souvenir bottle of wine (21 and older volunteers only).

Holiday Run: Seeking happy volunteers who enjoy helping people reach their fitness goals (and enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies along the way!) Roles at this event will depend on the needs of the race but will include but not be limited to helping with registration, course marshal, parking, medals, and food and beverage. Volunteers will receive an official race crew hoodie.

First on the First 5K: Seeking volunteers who want to start the new year off on the right foot by being surrounded by 1500+ runners and walkers at this annual New Year’s race! Volunteer roles will include but not be limited to registration, course marshal, water station, food and beverage, and medals. If you love being around people and enjoying some of the best New Year’s pork post-race food, this is the event for you!

National Church Residences

Arts and Crafts: Assist with craft projects and share lunch with seniors at National Church Residences.

Flower Bed Clean Up: National Church Residences’ flower beds are used by clients all year long. Rake, pull plants and prepare the beds for winter so that seniors can enjoy the garden again in the spring.

Near East Pride Center

Firefighters 4 Kids Registration Assistance: Help families register to receive gifts for their children through the Firefighters for Kids Toy Drive. Process forms and help families complete the forms.

Ohio Nature Education

Gift Wrapping Volunteers: Wrap purchases at Half Price Books for donations to Ohio Nature Education! Ohio Nature Education provides a home for over 50 permanently injured animals which are then incorporated into environmental education programs for people of all ages.

Salvation Army

Christmas Cheer Registration Help: Help register families and individuals for the Christmas Cheer program. Christmas Cheer is one of Ohio’s largest holiday toy and food distribution programs, providing food and toys to nearly 7,000 families in need over a two-day period.

Red Kettle Bell Ringers: Adopt a red kettle for a day by organizing teams of friends, family or coworkers to ring the bell for a day at one of 80 locations across Franklin and Delaware counties. 

Ultrafit-USA

Columbus Turkey Trot Volunteers: The Columbus Turkey Trot is a Thanksgiving Day 5 Mile Walking/Running event that benefits Easter Seals and their Autism services program ‘Make the First Five Count.’ Work at registration passing out race numbers, then assist at the finish line with medals and with the finish line food tables. This is a fun event that promotes fitness and exercise and community involvement.

Volunteers Of America

Santa’s Workshop: Help make the holiday season a little brighter for a homeless family by volunteering in Santa’s Workshop holiday store. Individual elves or groups of elves are needed to assist families with shopping, work in Santa’s Workshop, wrap gifts, bake cookies and much more.

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