Where can I volunteer with my family this holiday?


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The holidays are just around the corner and some nonprofit organizations are still needing help now and even after Christmas.

Generation SERVE works with 100 nonprofits and has some volunteer opportunities this week.

“We communicate with them about what their needs are and what work they need to have done, and then we manage the activity from start to finish. We sign up families, bring them out to that nonprofit, and get that work done for them,” explained Allison Johnson with Generation SERVE. “And we make sure those activities are family friendly.”

They have something pretty much every day of the year. Families with kids as young as 3-years-old can help.

Generation SERVE also released a Holiday Giving Guide that provides families with ways they can support over 50 nonprofit organization this holiday season. The opportunities continue through the end of December.

“We really think that making volunteerism a habit for them at a young age… they start to really think this is a part of who they are, and what their monthly routine is or their annual routine is to get out and help other,” said Johnson. “I think that builds empathy and confidence and they know what community needs are out there and how they can actually help.”

Sunday afternoon the Neff family volunteered with their small kids and made cards for kids in the hospital.

“It’s nice to try to make a difference and help out,” explained Brad Neff. “We started bringing the kids to volunteer… about four years ago.”

Other organizations that could use some help this holiday:

The Austin Humane Society is asking families to open their homes over Christmas and foster a furry friend for a few days.

Also, first to eight-graders can go to the humane society with a book and read to cats as part of the Rescue Reading program.

The Central Texas Food Bank has opportunities for kids eight and up and will need volunteers after the holidays when help generally drops off. Volunteers can work in the warehouse to sort food, the Mobile Food Pantry and the Food Bank’s garden.  

Carrying Hope is accepting donations throughout the holidays. The organization helps children in the first 48 hours of being in foster care. The goal is to get things like new pajamas or a teddy bear that the child would either need or could find comfort in during the first 48 hours. 

Some organizations including Mobile Loaves & Fishes tell KXAN they are good on volunteers, but need a large number of gift cards.

The United Way for Greater Austin also says there’s a lot of great opportunities to help through GivingCity Austin.

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