As the holidays (and colder temperatures) approach, it’s an important time to think about ways we can team up to make a difference in our communities. From serving food at a local food bank to volunteering for a day at an animal shelter or hosting a coat drive, there are so many opportunities for work teams (or groups of friends) to make a difference.
Many volunteer events book up fast, so contact an organization as soon as possible to book your group volunteer event or project.
FOOD AND MEAL DISTRIBUTION:
Meals on Wheels (national): Meals on Wheels offers offices the opportunity to build a Workplace Delivery Team that delivers lunchtime meals to area residents.
Children's Hunger Fund (regional): Groups build volunteer teams to sort and pack food for distribution to underserved children in Los Angeles, San Antonio, Dallas, and Chicago metropolitan areas.
Feeding America (national): has group volunteer opportunities where teams perform the much needed work of sorting, packing, and stacking food at local food banks. Companies can also organize a corporate-wide effort for employees to volunteer in teams at their local food bank.
LOCAL FOOD BANK GROUP-VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:
Portland: Oregon Food Bank invites groups to assist in sorting and packing donations (groups must register five days in advance).
Seattle: Food Lifeline of Seattle offers groups the opportunity to help sort and pack food for area distribution.
San Francisco: St. Anthony's welcomes groups of up to 20 to help in their dining area and food prep kitchen where an average of 2,400 meals are prepared daily.
Los Angeles: LA Food Bank has a sign-up calendar for groups to book specific times.
Houston: Houston Food Bank has a Corporate Volunteer Day option for corporate volunteers.
Dallas: North Texas Food Bank has corporate volunteering opportunities.
Nashville: Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee offers opportunities for groups to register as a team online.
Chicago: Chicago Food Depository welcomes groups to volunteer, and CFD helps companies organize food drives for Chicago-area residents in need.
Washington DC: Capital Area Food Bank welcomes corporate groups to help sort and pack donated food.
Boston: The Greater Boston Food Bank provides “an experienced team member who will work with your organization to plan the perfect project for your employees.”
New York City: Food Bank for New York City has group-oriented opportunities for corporate volunteers.
Miami: Feeding South Florida helps companies organize teams to sort and pack donations.
One Warm Coat (national): Works with companies to help offices hold their own coat drives. They will help plan and prepare the drive, provide the team lead with a Coat Drive Kit, and will also provide tools and resources to help market the drive.
Volunteers of America (national): Works with groups and corporate partners who are interested in holding a clothing drive. VOA will pick up all collected donations.
Career Wardrobe (PA): Groups can book to volunteer during clothing drive events, helping donors transport clothing from cars to drop-off destination and assist with sorting of donations.
Crisis Assistance Ministry (Charlotte, NC): Groups can work to prepare donations for their store, help deliver furniture to residents who were formerly homeless, and provide breakfast or lunch to families.
Kid's Wish Network (national): Groups volunteer to help the distribution department by making bead kits, sorting books and toys, filling gift bags and packing boxes to send out to kids across the US.
Toys for Tots (national): Host a toy drive event at your office or book a team volunteer day at a local Toys for Tots distribution facility.
Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey (NJ): They are holding a holiday gift wrapping event from November 24 to December 24, 2016.
Ronald McDonald House Meals from the Heart (IL): Groups of up to 20 people can book a meal-prep event that starts with each group planning the menu, purchasing the ingredients and then preparing the meal in our fully equipped kitchen, allowing families to find nourishment and comfort while their child is staying at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
St. Jude Children’s Hospital (TN): offers one-time volunteer projects for groups at their Memphis location.
Animal Haven Shelter (NY): Corporate Volunteer Days are offered for groups (up to 15 people) to engage in meaningful projects (2-4 hours) that benefit the shelter.
Bidawee (NY): Groups can book a one-time project to provide support for Bidawee’s homeless animal shelter facility.
Humane Society of Silicon Valley (CA): Groups of 10 to 40 are welcome to volunteer for a one-day event held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Teams are able to socialize with adoptable dogs and cats and help prepare treats, make blankets, and do laundry. The event ends with a visit to the shelter’s dog park.
Paws (WA): Paws has opportunities for groups to volunteer by providing maintenance, grounds-keeping, and supply support for the shelter.
Anti-Cruelty Society (IL): Groups can volunteer for an event as part of the Crafting Crew Volunteer Program where teams craft pet toys for shelter animals.
The following are national resources for groups that are interested in finding local volunteering opportunities.
Volunteer Match is a virtual index to help volunteers find local nonprofits and causes of interest. Simply plug-in keywords and filter by “group volunteer opportunities” to find local opportunities.
Project Helping helps companies plan and execute corporate volunteer events.
Just Serve is an easy-to-navigate search engine that allows users to enter their zip code and choose “group” from an advanced search option to find locally-based group volunteer projects.
All For Good uses a set of filters to create personalized volunteer matching for groups and corporate partners.