United Way of East Central Iowa typically receives many questions about volunteering in the weeks leading up the holidays. Individuals and families are interested in serving a meal on Thanksgiving or collecting toys for local shelters.
This time of year puts many people in the giving mood, and it’s heartwarming to see how much they want to help those in need during the holiday season. United Way strives to connect volunteers to organizations with the greatest need during the holidays; that’s why we created a Holiday Volunteer Guide for everyone to use.
But something to keep in mind as we try to locate enough volunteer opportunities for everyone: local nonprofits need your help all year round.
We should think of volunteering as more than a once-a-year opportunity. Since most nonprofits provide year-round services to many in our community, they need to meet funding goals and fill volunteer positions 365 days of the year.
There are many ways to make a positive impact on the lives of others and spread joy all year long. We recommend you volunteer on other important days with your family and friends. Focus on inviting different individuals to volunteer alongside you throughout the year.
- Birthdays: When you or your kids are celebrating a birthday, invite your extended family to participate in a food or toy drive.
- Valentine’s Day: Ask your significant other to volunteer with you.
- Back to school: As you get your kids ready for school in the fall, fill an additional backpack for a child and drop it off at the school or daycare.
- Super Bowl Sunday: Gather your friends who are not sports enthusiasts to volunteer.
We hope you’ll make giving your time and talent more than just a holiday tradition by incorporating volunteerism as part of your routine. Simply visit our Volunteer Now site to find opportunities that fit your schedule, location, and interests throughout our five-county service area or check out more family volunteer opportunities here.