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November 17, 2017
The holidays are a time for celebrating and cherishing what we have. But it’s also a time for giving to those who don’t have as much to cherish. If you’re looking for a way that you can volunteer as a family and give back this holiday season, look no further. Here are nine organizations where your whole family can help the entire Tampa Bay community get the holidays they deserve.
2. Feeding Tampa Bay allows children ages 5 and up to volunteer with their parents at the morning or afternoon warehouse volunteering sessions held daily from Tuesdays to Saturdays. The whole family can work together to help those in need. Feeding Tampa Bay will provide kid-friendly, age-appropriate activities to bring awareness about the 1 in 4 children in our communities who go hungry, and give each family member the opportunity to learn and serve. There are also monthly Family Nights where kids of all ages are welcome to join their parents for a night of fun and giving back. Register for warehouse volunteering and learn more about all volunteer opportunities: feedingamericatampabay.volunteerhub.com.
3. The Salvation Army Kettle Bells will sound in early November and will keep ringing through Dec. 24. The entire family can take part in the Red Kettle tradition that began back in 1895. Money raised goes to local families for help with food, shelter and emergency assistance. You can learn more about how to take part in Tampa’s Salvation Army Kettle Bell program by visiting salvationarmyflorida.org. There are more than 100 locations throughout Hillsborough that are perfect for you and your family to ring the bells and keep the tradition of giving going.
4. High Risk Hope’s Books for Babies is an easy way to involve children with High Risk Hope’s mission to help families dealing with premature birth. The children can a host school book drive or donate their own gently used books to be placed in NICU Napsacks given to the parents of premature infants. Learn more: highriskhope.org.
5. Hope Children’s Home takes in abused and orphaned children and provides them a family atmosphere with house parents who are always there to guide and encourage them. Hope Children’s Home is entirely supported by community members like you, churches, clubs and organizations, so your family’s volunteer efforts are vital. Learn more about volunteer opportunities and create your volunteer profile at hopechildrenshome.org/new-volunteer/.
6. Toys for Tots is the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program for helping families in need have the holiday season they deserve by collecting and distributing Christmas gifts. Families with young children can set up toy drives to collect donations in October, November and December. Those with children over 16 can volunteer in the warehouse in the sorting process. To learn more about the Toys for Tots program, visit tampa-fl.toysfortots.org.
7. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is committed to helping homeless animals by providing shelter and care. Children aged 5 to 12 can volunteer in the Paws for Literacy program in which they read to animals to make them feel more comfortable. Children under 16 are able to volunteer with a parent or guardian with services such as walking dogs, playing with cats, cleaning kennels, and more. Volunteers can also collect items from the wish list to donate to the Humane Society. Register for a volunteer open house or learn more about volunteering opportunities at the Humane Society by visiting humanesocietytampa.org/become-a-volunteer/.
8. The Ronald McDonald House has many opportunities for the whole family to get involved. Children under 14 can help by making and decorating snack bags for families in the hospital, collecting items for the wish list drive, and holding penny drives to support the families. If you have children ages 14 and up, you can volunteer by preparing dinner for resident families at one of the four Tampa Bay Ronald McDonald Houses. To learn more about Ronald McDonald House and the volunteering opportunities available, visit rmhctampabay.org.
9. Meals on Wheels serves seniors in the Tampa area who live independently in their own homes but require help getting the meals they need. You can volunteer with Meals on Wheels by delivering nutritious meals and providing daily visits for the homebound seniors. Children can help make the day brighter for seniors by riding along with their parents for meal delivery or by making gifts for the seniors to keep them from being lonely. You can visit mowtampa.volunteerhub.com to sign up to deliver meals.
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