As the holidays draw near, we become thankful for what we have and mindful of others who have less. We open our hearts and our wallets to provide good meals, clothing, and toys to those less fortunate and in need. And the impact is tremendously positive.
But equally important is the gift of time. There is a huge need for volunteers for the holiday season – so much so that the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center produces a holiday volunteering guide (www.aacvc.org/Resources). We want you to download and share the guide, we want you to engage your family in volunteering, and we want you to make a difference so that all can have a happy holiday season.
Here are some examples of ways you can help out this holiday season (locations are primary locations; volunteering may also include other areas of the county):
Volunteer to pick up food donations. The Anne Arundel County Food and Resource Bank (Crownsville) needs volunteer drivers to drive the Food Bank’s trucks or your own vehicles to pick up food collected at schools and businesses throughout the county and to deliver them back to the Food Bank. Done driving…spend a little time there sorting food. There’s a lot to sort, it’s easy, and take it from me, very therapeutic. To volunteer, call 410-923-4255 or email Request@aafoodbank.org.
Make it personal. Volunteer to spread joy and cheer to the less fortunate in our county. The Anne Arundel County Holiday Sharing Program matches donors to more than 5,000 seniors and/or families in need during Thanksgiving & Christmas. Donors shop for food, clothing, and toys for the holiday and personally deliver to the household. Many office volunteers are needed to help run the program. To donate or volunteer, call 410-269-4462.
Make a difference in the life of people with developmental disabilities. Volunteer at Bello Machre (Glen Burnie) and spend time with an individual scrapbooking, cooking, watching movies, or playing video games. This simple gesture is very meaningful and will enhance your holiday season as well as theirs. Contact Sarah Tentilucci at 443-702-3064 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have fun collecting and wrapping holiday gifts for Chrysalis House residents. Chrysalis House (Crownsville) provides addition treatment services for women and women with children in a residential setting. If interested, contact Loren Weisman at 410-974-6829 or email@example.com.
Make a difference in homelessness. Hope for All (Glen Burnie) serves families in need in Anne Arundel County, distributing donated household goods, furniture, and clothing. Volunteer to assist with pickups and deliveries during the holiday season. To inquire about volunteering, call 410-766-0372 or send an e-mail to hopeforall72.gmail.com.
Help the homebound. Volunteer with Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland (Arnold). Help prepare and deliver food and maybe spend a few moments in conversation with someone who enjoys a visit from someone new. Contact Terry Lehr at 410-431-5257 or e-mail at SEoffice@mowcm.org.
Brighten the life of a lonely person this holiday season by volunteering with your child and/or pet for visits to homeless shelters, nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and adult day-care centers. People & Animals Who Serve Anne Arundel County (P.A.W.S) has over 76 facilities throughout the county that you can visit. Call 410-222-0738 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure everyone has enough to eat this holiday season. South County Assistance Network (Lothian) needs volunteers to stock shelves and bag food at their food pantry on Thursdays and Saturdays from 9-12. Contact Trish Pumphrey at Scan.VolCord@gmail.com or call her at 410-867-2838.
For other holiday volunteering opportunities, read the Capital’s Volunteers Needed column, produced in coordination between the Volunteer Center and the Capital.
There is no greater gift that you will receive this holiday season than a HUG, a SMILE, and a sincere THANK YOU. From the Volunteer Center, we thank you for volunteering.
Bruce Morgenstern is the President of the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center. For more information, contact the Volunteer Center at email@example.com.