Santa isn’t the only one doling out gifts this holiday season. Volunteering has become increasingly popular for individuals and families wanting to give back to Portland organizations that spend the entire year doing good deeds. If you and your group are looking for some unique volunteer opportunities this Christmas season, check out these great groups for outside-the-box volunteering. No wrapping paper needed!
Drive to Save Lives
When: 12 month commitment
Where: Throughout the Portland Area
Who to contact: American Red Cross Pacific NW Region Blood Services (503)284-1234
Love to feel the wind blowing in your hair, blast 94.7 on the radio and help save lives all at the same time? Sign up for the Drive to Save Lives and use your personal vehicle to pick up donations from blood drives throughout Portland and deliver them to the American Red Cross location on Vancouver Avenue twice a month. It’s a chance for you to support the American Red Cross without having to mess with all those needles.
ReStores by Habitat for Humanity
When: Ongoing, single day or scheduled volunteer shifts
Where: Habitat for Humanity ReStores in Portland and Vancouver
Who to contact: Portland Metro ReStore (503)283-6247
If you have always wanted to help Habitat for Humanity but aren’t sure if you can manage swinging a hammer or hanging drywall, then check out volunteer opportunities at one of their ReStores. Working to provide low-cost building materials to do-it-yourselfers and keeping thousands of tons of construction materials out of landfills, ReStores offer volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups. Whether you’re interested in volunteering for a day, or months at a time, the ReStores in Portland and Vancouver need help keeping their doors open and raising funds for Habitat for Humanity affiliates.
When: Various dates from November through December
Where: The Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd , Portland , OR 97221
Who to contact: E-mail a request for information to email@example.com
What could be better than animals, Christmas lights and a train around the zoo? Volunteering to make this magical event happen! Attracting thousands of children and adults every year, Zoolights relies on volunteers to keep this nighttime tradition running smoothly. Be sure to contact the Zoolights volunteer coordinator early in the holiday season as spots fill quickly.
Mercy Corps Thank You Calling Campaign
When: December 7th through 9th, 14th through 16th
Where: Mercy Corps Headquarters, 45 SW Ankeny St. , Portland , Oregon
Who to contact: Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don’t feel comfortable soliciting donations, here’s a great way for you to connect with contributors and volunteers without asking them to open their wallet. Dedicated to showing thankfulness for past donations, the Thank You Calling Campaign is a unique opportunity to give back to others by letting them know what they’ve already given has been appreciated.
It doesn’t matter how skilled you are or what experience you have as a volunteer, these and other organizations are happy to have you as a part of their team. Without the help of people just like you, many of them would cease to be effective in their causes and result in thousands of Portland residents to miss out on the services that volunteer organizations provide. If time is tight or you’re nervous about volunteering, all of these organizations take financial donations as well, but you’ll find that nothing is as rewarding as spending time reaching out to others.