The gifts are wrapped and at least half the lights on the tree are working. What is there to do while you wait for the turkey to thaw and the cousins to pull into the driveway?
If you’re itching to get out of the house and into the Christmas spirit, there are organizations across the Triangle where you can volunteer your time, talents and resources to bring cheer to others.
While many volunteer opportunities were snagged weeks ago by people who filled out paperwork and submitted to background checks, there still are many ways to brighten the holidays for those in need.
Most organizations prefer that you call or email first to make sure your good will doesn’t go to waste.
▪ Raleigh’s Helping Hand Mission has seen a drop in donations this holiday season, and Sylvia Wiggins, who has run the organization for years, is worried that some of the 700 parents on her list may not be able to tuck any gifts under the tree for their children. Helping Hand will accept and distribute gifts all the way up through Christmas Eve at 623 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh. The mission’s phone number is 919-829-8048.
▪ The Durham Rescue Mission has a long list of needs for both its men’s shelter and the one it runs for women and children. Items include non-perishable foods for the shelter’s pantry, personal hygiene and over-the-counter healthcare items, tools and housecleaning materials. To reach the mission, call 919-688-9641 or send an email to email@example.com. Donations can be taken either to 1201 E. Main Street or 507 E. Knox Street, both in Durham.
▪ Santa isn’t the only one who loves cookies; residents of the Raleigh Rescue Mission enjoy homemade treats brought in by volunteers throughout the holidays. Cookies can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 31 at 314 E. Hargett Street, Raleigh. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. During the holidays, the mission also hopes volunteers will fill “Tubs of Love” to restock supplies the organization gives away all year to adults and children in need. Tubs can be built around themes such as paper goods, socks and underwear, healthcare items, laundry products and children’s essentials. Lists of needed items are available here.
▪ The Smithfield Rescue Mission, which serves the homeless in Johnston County, is in constant need of food pantry items, hygiene and housecleaning supplies, office supplies and personal items such as socks, underwear and men’s and women’s clothing that is in good shape. A complete list is available here. Call the mission at 919-934-9257 or email email@example.com.