You know how the song goes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” …to volunteer of course. There is no more popular time to give back than around the holidays, and despite the restrictions due to COVID, many people are still looking for ways to help out. Luckily, organizations have found ways for volunteers to participate virtually along with their usual in-person offerings. While the list is far more extensive than we can fit in one blog, here are a few great opportunities to get you started.
St. Vincent de Paul – A staple in Phoenix, St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) serves people in need in a variety of ways, as their mission statement says “Feed. Clothe. House. Heal.” Whether you sign up to volunteer virtually, or donate items, you can help their mission as it ramps up for the holidays. SVdP also has volunteer opportunities such as their Urban Farm, or even fixing bikes in the bike shop. For full information, check out their website.
United Nations Volunteering - Yes, you read that right, you can volunteer for the United Nations right from home. The best part is that they have an option for every skillset and interest too. From healthcare to art, the United Nations will connect you with organizations working for peace and development around the world. There are already over 12,000 volunteers from 187 countries, so there is a chance you’ll get exposed to some new cultures. If you are looking to go international from the comfort of your couch, check out the UN website.
Smithsonian Museum - This one is for all the Night at the Museum fanatics out there, if there are any of those. The Smithsonian is in need of volunteers to help make their collection more accessible by transcribing historic documents or editing Wikipedia articles related to their artifacts. While Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, they still need some help to maintain their collection. If you are interested in digging through some history this season, you can find more info here.
St. Mary’s Food Bank – Another local favorite, St. Mary’s has been serving the Greater Phoenix area since 1967. With millions of pounds of food handed out, St. Mary’s has grown to be one of the largest food banks in the world, which means they need volunteers. Still operating in person with strict COVID protocols, St. Mary’s needs hands to help box and pack their food to give out to those in need. Thanksgiving is an especially busy time, with turkey distribution occurring throughout the week.
Phoenix Rescue Mission - The Phoenix Rescue Mission is a place of hope, healing, and new beginnings for men, women, and children in our community struggling with homelessness, addiction, and trauma. While volunteering at residential campuses has been suspended, they still need help with their Hope for Hunger Food Bank, mobile food pantries, and community markets. If you’re interested in serving with the Phoenix Rescue Mission, visit here.
Whether you are going out safely to volunteer or using one of your many great Shea Home spaces to help out virtually, your work will not go unnoticed this time of year. Thank you for your time, talents, and dedication.