How to Give Back This Holiday Season

November 27, 2018

Lending a helping hand is often at the forefront of our minds during the holiday season. And why shouldn’t it be? While most of us have something we can contribute—time, a few extra dollars, an extra pair of shoes or a winter coat—there is always someone out there who needs it. Plus, the Centennial State makes it even easier to pay it forward on Colorado Gives Day, an annual, statewide initiative to bolster local nonprofits and philanthropic endeavors, happening Tuesday, December 4. Here are 10 ways you can help those around you this holiday season.

  1. The holidays are particularly challenging for seniors. Volunteer with the Senior Assistance Center, a local group that provides myriad services and care—from medical equipment to help paying the bills—to Denver’s aging community. You can donate, volunteer, or explore its other unique ways to get involved here. 2839 W. 44th Ave., Denver; 303-455-9642
  1. Help create and hand-deliver holiday baskets for seniors in-need at First Baptist Church of Denver on December 20, 21, or 22 (find more details here).
  1. Sign up to deliver nutritious meals via Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors on Thanksgiving, Christmas—or anytime.
  1. Project Angel Heart, which delivers medically tailored meals to people with life-threatening illnesses in Denver and Colorado Springs, is always accepting volunteers. Check out their calendar for special events and workshops. 4950 Washington St., Denver; 303-830-0202
  1. Violence doesn’t take holidays. Sacred Heart House of Denver, a Five Points nonprofit that services homeless women and women with children (most of whom have been victims of domestic violence), is here to help. Volunteer opportunities include helping with childcare, preparing dinner, teaching work skills, answering phones, special projects, and more. You can learn more about volunteering and how to donate on Sacred Heart’s website. 2844 Lawrence St., Denver; 303- 296-6686
  1. The African Community Center of Denver services more than 1,500 immigrants and refugees in the metro area. Though these men, women, and children left their home countries—due to war, violence, or bleak economic prospects—for a better life, many face insurmountable challenges once they’ve arrived in the U.S. Help make the holidays better by organizing a donation drive, sponsoring a family, or dropping off items (you can find an updated list of in-need items here). 925 S. Niagara St. Suite 200, Denver; 303-399-4500
  1. EarthLinks is a small nonprofit that teaches people living in poverty and/or homelessness how to make eco-conscious products—like handmade soap, reusable teabags, or cuticle cream—that are then sold online for a profit. You can learn more about volunteer opportunities and donations on their website, but don’t miss EarthLinks’ Holiday Gift Market on Friday, December 7th, and Saturday, December 8th. 2746 W. 13th Ave., Denver; 303-389-0085
  1. MetroCaring services members of the community who are affected by food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty. In addition to a grocery store—accessible to anyone using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—this Uptown nonprofit also teaches free nutrition education and cooking classes, and is always looking for volunteers and donations. 1100 E. 18th Ave., Denver; 303-860-7200
  1. Join the Holiday Project, a sweet-natured effort to get volunteers who are available to visit nursing homes, hospitals, and other similar institutions during the holidays. It means a lot to its residents and, you never know, you may make a new friend! Contact Max Acosta at holidayprojectCO@outlook.com; 303-333-3747
  1. Bienvenidos Food Bank, which services northwest Denver, is currently doing several food-donation drives across the metro area (find out more about drop-off locations here). You can also start your own drive, volunteer your time, donate funds, or organize a workplace-giving program. 3810 Pecos St., Denver; 303-433-6328
  BONUS! Is there ever a bad time to support education in Colorado (or anywhere)?
  Denver Public Schools Volunteer Services welcomes those who want to give back to our          youngest community members at any time of the year. The opportunities to help include        mentoring, robotics, a chess club, and more. It’s also a good way for early- and mid-            career professionals to decide whether working in public education—as always, supported    by PERA benefits—is the right path for them.