How Volunteering on Christmas Works

Places to Volunteer on Christmas

Play the guitar? How about strumming a few bars of "Deck the Halls" at the local retirement home. Want a date? Even singles groups organize holiday volunteering events [source: MeetUp]. One of the most common places to volunteer at Christmas is at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. If that piques your interest, the Salvation Army or your local shelter are good places to start [source: Salvation Army].

Nursing homes, hospitals and senior centers are always great options for volunteer opportunities because many patients don't get visitors around the holidays. You can help ease their loneliness by bringing in a deck of cards, serving dinner or simply sitting down for a chat.

Because of a spike in violence around Christmas, battered women's shelters are often in need of donations like toiletries, clothes and toys [source: Merkel]. Or you could help pick up the donations, serve meals or entertain the children at the shelter.

If animals are your thing, the local animal shelter may welcome help walking dogs on Christmas so the staff can have the day off [source: Squidoo].

Lots of organizations and churches offer programs that enable you to adopt a low-income family for the holidays and provide them with Christmas dinner and gifts. The Salvation Army has an "angel" program that matches you with a child who needs basic essentials like clothes and shoes [source: Essortment].

Other ideas include volunteering to wrap the gifts that organizations get for needy children, helping the local hospice or meals-on-wheels deliver meals and hosting a solider who is stationed away from his or her family for Christmas dinner [source: Essortment].

Besides helping others, you just may find that volunteering benefits you. Read on to find out how.