Posted by: Darby Wiekrykas, Volunteer Engagement Program Manager
The holiday season is a time to celebrate giving. What better way to give than to share your time with a neighbor in need? We’ve created a list of ways to help your neighbors this holiday season. Try one of these service project ideas and brighten someone’s day or download our Holiday Volunteer Guide to find more opportunities!
Do you have elderly neighbors? Is there a single mom who lives down the street, or a man who lives alone and has a physical disability? All of them would be grateful for some assistance with outdoor maintenance. This could include raking leaves, shoveling snow, cleaning gutters, and even putting up outdoor lights and decorations. Snow removal is especially dangerous for older people or those with heart attack risk factors. Be that thoughtful neighbor who anticipates their needs.
The holiday season can be a challenge for parents with young children. They need to sneak out and do some shopping, but someone needs to watch the kids. Offer to babysit for parents in your neighborhood while they go shopping or just take some time to relax after the stress of holiday preparations. They will appreciate the time to themselves!
There are families in your community who struggle to purchase necessities like clothing, shoes, coats, hats, and gloves. Keep your neighbors warm this winter by organizing a community clothing drive. All it takes is a simple donation to make a big difference. View Agency Wish Lists by category and name
Nursing homes can be lonely places. Elderly residents may have no family, or distant family that can’t visit for the holidays. Make sure no senior is alone this holiday season by visiting your local nursing home. It would be a nice gesture to bring holiday cards or sing carols, but all you really need to do is sit with them and talk. It feels good to connect with each other at any time of the year, but especially during this season.
Homeless shelters can always use supplies and volunteers. Donate toiletries, clothing, food, or money to your local homeless shelter. Consider giving some of your time as well. You could serve hot meals or just connect with the shelter visitors. People who are struggling with homelessness can feel very isolated. You can make a big impact by simply reaching out and talking to them.
If you want to make an impact all year long, consider signing up with a service organization like United Way. This will keep you connected to volunteer opportunities across your community. You will also be able to make a bigger impact since you’ll be teaming up with other individuals who are passionate about giving back! Check out some of the current volunteer opportunities with United Way of Berks County.
When you give to United Way of Berks County, you’re funding programs throughout your community! We help out with a variety of causes, from fighting hunger to literacy and education. Our Agency Partners are all local, so you know your gift is going towards helping your neighbors.
We hope you’ll remember to give back this holiday season. The best part is, you don’t have to leave your neighborhood to do it! Please consider supporting our efforts to Live United by donating to United Way of Berks County.