Where To Give Back Or Volunteer Your Time This Christmas
- Parents Only
By: Alex Harmon, ellaslist
Christmas is a time for gluttony, greed and glazed hams.... but if that all sounds a bit off-putting then perhaps you like the idea of using Christmas as a time to give back. I personally can't stand the commercialism of Christmas, the clutter of unwanted presents and the decadent food that often goes to waste. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a grinch and will happily eat the mountains of ham come December 25 as I spend quality time with the fam, but lately I have wanted to look for other avenues to celebrate the joy of generosity that goes with this occasion.
Luckily, I didn't have to look far and there are loads of organisations that are only too happy to borrow your time and goodwill to help others. Here are some of the ways you can give back this year - many are desperate for help on Christmas Day so if you've had enough of Aunty Christine's drama for one year... here's your perfect escape.
Meals On Wheels
If you have a car and a driver's licence, why not volunteer to bring food and some Christmas cheer to people in your area? The old folks will love it and you might even make some new friends. Meals On Wheels need volunteers all year round, take a look here for more info.
We All Care
This Sydney based organisation distributes gifts every year to families struggling due to poverty, mental illness and domestic violence. It's a place to donate clothes, linen, toys, books and kitchen items to people who need it most. Find out how to donate here.
The Exodus Foundation empowers young Australians through education and literacy, and supports disadvantaged and marginalised people. They need volunteers to assist in their free restaurant and to tutor students with literacy problems. At Christmas, the Foundation holds a Christmas Day lunch in Ashfield that feeds thousands of people that you can help out with.
The Smith Family
Each Christmas, The Smith Family distributes tens of thousands of food hampers to needy families. These hampers are supplied, delivered and packed by volunteers –and they need you to help out.
Donate a gift to a child in foster care. You can buy a gift online that goes to a child who may never have received a Christmas present before. Choose from a range of gift ideas including toys, school needs, dance classes or personalised gifts from Santa. Find out more here.
The Salvation Army
At Christmas the Salvation Army help around 70,000 households in Australia, and they need your help to give hope where it's needed most. Volunteer to wrap presents, create hampers, host a toy drive or give unwanted clothes or non-perishable food items to bring some cheer to families in need this year. Find out more here.
Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross hosts one of the biggest events for the needy on Christmas Day. They have 650 regular volunteers who have already filled the volunteer shifts for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but you can still attend as a guest to spread some cheer: be a warm smile and a friendly ear to those in need - that's the greatest gift you can give!
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