6 volunteer opportunities in Chicago during the season of giving

There’s a lot of talk these days of spreading kindness. Tim McGraw recently penned a song “Humble and Kind.” The morning team from Chicago’s New Country station (95.5) even has a whole segment dedicated to sharing stories of compassion and generosity. It seems that many of us are sick and tired of hearing of the same sad, terrible doom and gloom news of the world.

And now it’s the most wonderful time of the year: the season of giving. The season to bring joy to other’s lives. The season to be grateful for what you have. In a “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” Instagram-rich world, it’s easy to lose track of what really matters most. So, why not be rich in love and making memories with your family?

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Feed the hungry

Turkey for Me, Turkey for You

Adam Sandler had it right when he sang these lyrics long ago: “turkey for me, turkey for you.” The Chicago Housing Authority is hosting this annual celebration at two low-income senior apartment complexes. Volunteers are needed for Thursday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, please email the coordinators at Mary Hartwell Catherwood Apartments and Lorraine Hansberry Senior Apartments.

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Help fill a plate for a family in need this Thanksgiving. You can either donate or sign up to help distribute 70 million pounds of food to Chicago’s hungry families. Gather your family to help assemble food boxes. There are so many ways to help a family in need this holiday season. Click here for more information on all the events coming up in the next coming weeks.

Spread good cheer

Golden Arches Gives Back

The holidays are stressful enough already, but add in the anxiety and worry if you have a sick child in the hospital and the looming costs for hotel and food, and it can be downright overwhelming. The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana provides a home away from home for nearly 200 families every night.

With five locations in Chicago and neighboring suburbs, they offer a welcoming place to rest, relax, have a home-cooked meal, meet other families and find the emotional support needed so families can focus 100 percent on their children in the hospital. Volunteers are the backbone of their organization, and the organization needs help with making meals, baking cookies and much more.

Family Volunteer Day

Family Volunteer Day occurs on Saturday, Nov. 18, in a global day of service that celebrates families supporting their communities and neighborhoods. Sponsored by The Walk Disney Company and run by GenerationOn (the youth division of Points of Light), it’s a great way to bring the kids and the rest of the family together to give back this holiday season. Enter your zip code on GenerationOn’s website to see Family Volunteer Day events happening near you in Chicago. 

Keep them warm

Making a Difference Coat Drive

Coat Drive partners–including NBC 5 Chicago, Comcast, Studio Xfinity, Metra and Sam’s Club–are all helping to give the gift of warmth this holiday season. Participants can donate new or gently used coats. The Salvation Army will distribute the coats to adults and children in need. For further information on donation dates and locations for drop-off click here.

More than Just Coats

On Saturday, Nov. 18, South West Outreach Initiatives is hosting their 3rd annual ‘Keep a Senior Warm Coat Giveaway and Health Fair’ from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. With temperatures quickly dropping into the 30s and below, it’s important to get seniors new or gently used coats to keep warm this winter season. There will also be vendors providing health and resource information and health screenings. Volunteers are still needed for this event so sign-up today.

Want more ideas on charitable events? Sites like VolunteerMatch.org, ChicagoCares.org and Serve.gov are just a click away.

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