Feed the Hungry
America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization, operates more than 600 Kids Café programs across the nation. Volunteers are needed for a number of roles from providing general office assistance to using their accounting or legal background.
Teach Someone to Read
Tutors at the Laubach Literacy program receive 10 to 12 hours of training and commit an one and a half to three hours of tutoring each week. Jane Hugo, director of the Women in Literacy program, says, "When you help a woman read, you're buying an insurance policy for her entire family."
Give the Gift of Sheep
For $120, you can buy a sheep from The Heifer Project International (HPI) and help an impoverished family earn a living through the sale of its wool. If that's too expensive, consider buying a share in an animal for just $10. HPI requires that all recipients pass on a gift of at least one of their animal's offspring to another family in need, so your present will help others long after the holidays.
Record Textbooks for the Blind
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) has a shortage of volunteers who are adept in science, finance and other technical areas. "You don't have to be an expert, but you have to have a certain proficiency because you must describe the accompanying charts and graphs accurately," says Morgan Roth, Vice President of Public Affairs. Not technically savvy? RFB&D also needs volunteers for a variety of non-reading positions.
Donate a Phone
Used cell phones are reprogrammed with emergency numbers and then distributed to domestic violence victims. "We give them out left and right," says Officer Ed O'Carroll of the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department.
Call: 1-888-901-7233 to donate a used cell phone.
Studies have shown that hospital patients who interact with visiting animals have lower blood pressure, less anxiety and shorter recovery times than other patients—and as a result, many health care facilities now offer animal-assisted therapy. Contact Delta Society's Pet Partners for a list of eligible animals and a registration form.
Friends for the Elderly Needed
Despite its name, Little Brothers accepts adult volunteers—both men and women—to visit the elderly, provide holiday feasts, and supervise group vacations for lonely, city-confined seniors.
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