Lend A Helping Hand This Holiday Season

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December 27, 2016

Volunteering. As Martha Stewart might say: “it’s a good thing,” especially during the holiday season.

Did you know volunteering can have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or community served? Volunteering is renowned for skill development. It promotes overall wellness and can improve our quality of life.

SK&H offers up this short list of organizations that do “good things” year round, and could really use our help during the holiday season. What are you waiting for? There is no better time to give back to the our community that right now!

Helping The Community
United Way of the Columbia-Willamette offers a range of volunteer programs designed to provide everyone with the opportunity to make a difference in our community. The go-to guide for those seeking a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, Hands On Greater Portland continually updates its calendar of opportunities around the region. If you want to connect to a certain project or cause Hands On Greater Portland can make that connection happen.

Helping The Homeless
Help men, women and children overcome the despair of homelessness, addiction, hunger and abuse at the Portland Rescue Mission. In a desire to meet needs of the guests and residents they serve, PRM volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of one year of service.

For those looking for a less lengthy commitment there are also opportunities to help at Portland Homeless Family Solutions shelters and Outside In.

Portland Homeless Family Solutions relies on volunteers every day at Goose Hollow Family Shelter (night shelter) and Thirteen Salmon Family Center (day shelter). Volunteer opportunities can be as flexible or regular as you need them to be. Try volunteering once, if you like it sign up again, you choose the amount of time you want to commit. With the availability of volunteer positions almost 24 hours a day, you can find a position that will fit into your busy schedule.

Those who volunteer at Outside In help support homeless people who need to see a doctor, students furthering their education or employment prospects, and homeless youth who need basic resources like meals and hygiene supplies. Volunteers also provide a variety of administrative supports.

Helping The Hungry
Keeping the pantry stocked at the Oregon Food Bank is a big job that typically falls to volunteers. Sign up as an individual or as a group.

Volunteer to deliver hot meals to the homebound elderly for the holidays with Meals on Wheels People. The program would not exist without the help of more than 500 volunteers every weekday. Volunteers here help prepare and serve meals to seniors in 34 different meal centers throughout Multnomah, Washington and Clark counties, as well as deliver nearly 3,000 Meals on Wheels to homebound elderly.

Helping the Animals
Portland Animal Welfare hosts monthly clinics that offers free veterinary services to the homeless and impoverished. Medical, creative and logistical volunteers are always needed. The Oregon Humane Society was founded by 14 volunteers in 1868, and today relies on nearly 2,000 volunteers to keep the shelter operating. OHS offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for adults, youths, groups and more.