How to give back this holiday season and in the new year – cleveland. com


CLEVELAND, Ohio – The season of giving might be nearing an end, but there’s still time to give the gift of time through volunteering in your local community this year and throughout 2023.

If you’re looking to get involved over the next week, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank will be hosting a food distribution event at Cleveland’s municipal lot through Dec. 29. Time slots can be claimed online . The food bank will also be hosting a mobile food pantry at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library on Dec. 27.

There are time slots available with the Salvation Army across Northeast Kansas to ring a bell during its 2022 holiday campaign. You can use the search tool on the organization’s website to find the period and location that work best for you.

Looking ahead into the new year, opportunities will become available throughout the region for volunteers of all ages. From reading books to sick children in the hospital to becoming an ambassador at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, there are roles suited for a variety of interests.

Remember to be mindful that many of the volunteer roles require registration and orientation, so it’s best to start preparing to help as early as you can.

Below is a round-up of 19 organizations looking for volunteers in 2023:

Food, housing and basic needs

Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland

Those interested in volunteering with the Hunger System of Greater Cleveland can help by picking up and dropping off food donations or even host a food drive of their own in their local community.

Greater Cleveland Food Bank

There are several ways to volunteer with the Greater Cleveland Meals Bank for various projects, including:

– Sorting and packing incoming donations, assembling Backpacks for Kids and more

— Assisting with preparation for hot meals and lunches

– Helping partner programs select plus load orders in the marketplace area

– Loading, organizing and stocking the Euclid Neighborhood Pantry

– Lending support at food distribution events

– Aiding with refrigerated donations by sorting and putting away the particular perishable foods

Akron-Canton Regional Foods Bank

The Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank is currently in need of volunteers to distribute food donations, assist with administrative duties, help at special events and sort, inspect and repackage donated food.

Meals on Wheels

Though there are a variety of volunteer opportunities with Meals on Wheels, the organization is most in need of individuals to deliver meals to homebound seniors which includes picking up the meals and distributing them along a pre-determined route.

ACCESS Shelter

Applications are currently being accepted for volunteers thinking about adopting a family during the holiday season, building and grounds maintenance, community outreach, donation sorting and organizing, food bank assistance, meal servers and more.

Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity volunteers can take part in home construction, help at one of the organization’s ReStore locations or provide service in the administration offices.

Shoes and Clothes for Kids

Those looking to get involved with Shoes and Clothes for Kids can choose between helping to coordinate a collection drive and working in the warehouse simply by assembling clothing packages, stuffing backpacks, sorting clothes plus stocking shelves.

Health services

Cleveland Clinic

Current possibilities at Cleveland Clinic include volunteering in the caring canine program, mailroom, children’s hospital, family health center, healing services, hospice program, nursing unit, patient and visitor relations, spiritual care and the cancer center.

Any volunteer that has a particular interest or skill is welcome to speak with volunteer services to explore how to use their talents.

University Hospitals

Volunteer opportunities at College Hospitals are available at all medical center locations. Each location and its need is listed on the hospital’s web site and includes reading in order to sick children, assisting with clerical work and delivering flowers.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Hospice volunteers help to transport patients to appointments, offer companionship, prepare meals and support individuals and their families.

There are also opportunities to provide office assistance and utilize individual skills such as hairstyling and massotherapy.

The Gathering Place

There is a need for volunteers at The Gathering Place for reception area greeters, program participants, clerical work, special event coordination and garden tending.

GiGi’s Playhouse

People interested in volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse will help facilitate its programs, become a host family, tutor students, organize and decorate the organization’s space, aid in technology needs, help with maintenance and repairs and fundraising.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Northeast Ohio

Individual volunteer opportunities include greeting at the welcome desk, meal preparation, family meal support, maintenance, grounds and gardening assistance and more.

Animals and nature

Cleveland APL

Cleveland APL volunteers help with walking and grooming the animals, support adoption services, serve as fosters, offer veterinary assistance, supervise playgroups and more.

Friendship APL

Opportunities include dog walking, cat care and socialization, cage and kennel cleaning, social media support, photography, general shelter care, laundry, pet food bank help, fundraising plus adoption counseling.

Secondhand Mutts

Those looking to get involved at Secondhand Mutts can serve as dog chaperones at adoption and community events, transportation drivers, dog walkers, event representatives, administration help and by fostering.

Berea Animal Rescue

Berea Animal Rescue is looking for volunteers who would be interested in becoming dog and cat companions or welcome desk receptionists, and individuals to help recycle aluminum cans or fundraise.

Hideout Pines Ranch

Volunteers have the opportunity to help the ranch with administrative tasks, working with the kids in addition to horses, leading woodworking and even hiking sessions, as well as horticulture, landscaping and more.

Cleveland Metroparks

There are more than 100 ongoing volunteer opportunities throughout the Metroparks system. Volunteers can choose to join the “clean team” to pick up litter together with debris in the park or even become a zoo or trail ambassador, greeting visitors and additionally providing valuable information. All available volunteer roles are listed and described on the Cleveland Metroparks website.

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