Family & Pets

Best Holiday Volunteer Opportunities For The Family In Seattle

November 9, 2012 6:00 AM

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

volunteering Best Holiday Volunteer Opportunities For The Family In Seattle

(credit: Thinkstock)

The Holidays offer ample opportunities for families to give back to their community, and it’s a great time of the year to teach children. Parents may use the occasion to discuss how many families don’t have money to buy Christmas gifts or enough food to eat. Together your family can come up with ways to brighten the holidays for those less fortunate. Here are five great opportunities for Seattle families to volunteer together this holiday season.

Bellevue LifeSpring
P.O. Box 53203
Bellevue, WA 98015
(425) 451-1175
www.bellevuelifespring.org/

Bellevue LifeSpring’s helps struggling families through their Holiday Adopt-a-Family program in which sponsors provide gifts and food for those in need. Families may choose to sponsor/adopt a family for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or both. Parents involve the kiddos with present selections and talk about nutrition while filling the food baskets.

Adopt-a-Family for Thanksgiving
Families that choose the Thanksgiving option are given a list of foods needed for a holiday dinner and some well-balanced foods for the school break. A grocery store gift card should also be included for purchasing perishable food items.

Adopt-a-Family for Christmas
Using a provided wish list from the family, the sponsors choose a Christmas gift for each family member to put under their tree. A grocery store gift card is also given for them to purchase their Christmas dinner.

Related: Best Photographers For Kids In Seattle

Heartbeat – Serving Wounded Warriors
P.O. Box 704
Snohomish, WA 98291
(425) 931-1047
www.heartbeatforwarriors.org/

Heartbeat hosts an annual Christmas party for wounded soldiers and their families. A great way to participate is by filling one of the large, homemade stockings that each veteran receives. This is a perfect opportunity for parents and their kids to bring some holiday cheer to local wounded warriors. Some suggested goodies for the stockings are: gift cards for movies or restaurants, hand-held games, CDs, Starbucks cards, DVDs, snack items, puzzle books and X-box games. Heartbeat welcomes volunteers to help fill the stockings with donations and to assist at the Christmas party.

Salvation Army
911 164 Ave.
Bellevue, WA 98008
(425) 452-7300
amy.sofie@usw.salvationarmy.org

The Salvation Army serves a free turkey dinner with all of the trimmings for anyone in need on Thanksgiving Day. It’s looking for volunteers to help set up, serve and clean up after the meal. Families are welcomed to volunteer together. The Salvation Army is also in need of help in its Toy Shop. It is looking for volunteers to help sort and pack the gifts beforehand as well as assist in the handing out the gifts to the families. Contact Amy at the link above to learn more about the volunteer opportunities.

St. Joseph’s Baby Corner  
528 18th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 726-1435
www.seattlebabycorner.org

The Baby Corner is a wonderful source for working parents who are struggling to provide for their young children. It is in need of diapers, formula, lightly used children’s clothes in sizes up to 4T and toys for ages newborn to 3 years. Young children may help go through clothes and toys (no stuffed animals) they have outgrown to pass on. The Center is also looking for holiday help in unpacking, sorting, shelving and allocating the many items that arrive in early to mid-December. It also needs families that can take home infant/toddler clothes from Baby Corner to launder at home to be returned, folded and organized.

Related: Best Places to Adopt Kittens and Puppies in Seattle

YWCA
2024 3rd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 436-8635
www.ywcaworks.org

The YWCA is looking for volunteers to help put together gift bags for its Angeline’s Enhanced Night Program that helps homeless women move forward in their lives. This is a great activity for families to do together: Kids may enjoy helping to pick out both essential and fun items for the $25 to $30 range gift bags. Volunteers need to use a sturdy bag and fill it with these types of products: phone cards, collapsible umbrellas, pocket calendar, small flashlight, toiletry items, warm hats, cologne, bus tickets and cute gloves.

Kristy Stevens-Young is a freelance writer in Seattle. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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