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Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

Tis the season for giving! Across the Bluff City, there are a number of non-profit organizations dedicated to serving those in need. From soup kitchens to holiday heroes, there are plenty of options to choose from when looking for ways to give this holiday season. If you’re not sure where to lend your time and resources, we’ve compiled a list of organizations looking for holiday volunteers and/or donors.

Photo: Youth Villages

Be a Youth Villages Holiday Hero

If time isn’t on your side, but you still want to give back in a major way, Youth Villages is offering opportunities to shop for or sponsor a child this holiday season by becoming a Holiday Hero. Heroes are asked to spend $100 per child to help provide gifts for the holiday. To find out more information on how you can become a holiday hero, visit the Youth Villages website.

The Church Health Christmas Card

A small donation through Church Health’s Christmas Card Program can help provide quality health services to those who are uninsured, while also honoring a loved one. The health center asks for a $10 donation per card. When ordering the card (by Dec. 7), givers are asked to download a form where they can also specify if they would like to donate in memory of someone. To find out more about this program and how you can donate, visit their website.

Volunteer with Merge Memphis

Merge Memphis, a faith-based non-profit that focuses on feeding the homeless, has multiple opportunities to give back this season. There are events taking place to serve meals to the homeless and others in need, beginning November 18. For those who plan to help assist, organizers request that you bring a dessert as well. For more information on how to get involved, visit their Facebook Page.

Volunteer Odyssey’s Pop-Up Event

Looking for an innovative way to give back in just a minute…literally? Volunteer Odyssey has you covered. The local volunteer organization is hosting a pop-up volunteer party on Friday, December 14. All you have to do is pop into their office (60 S. Main, Suite 102) and complete a volunteer project in 60 seconds. The opportunities will assist three different local nonprofits. There will even be a volunteer fortune-teller on hand during the pop-up event to provide attendees with a glimpse into their ‘philanthropic future’.  For more information on how to RSVP for the event, visit Volunteer Odyssey’s Facebook page.

Meals for Neighbors on The Streets Through Jacob’s Well

Each week Jacob’s Well makes more than 100 bags to hand out to the homeless. This holiday season, they want to help even more Memphians, who are living on the streets. Volunteers can give their time by assisting with food prep, choosing between shifts on the 3rd or 4th Wednesday of each month. If volunteers want to brave the winter temperatures and help organizers take it to the streets, they can stick around after meal prep to assist. Visit their website for more information on how to volunteer for a holiday shift.

Ornaments for Education

Invest in a student’s education this holiday season, while helping them decorate their school’s Christmas Tree. FCS, an educational organization, is hosting their first “Ornaments for Education” initiative to help raise funds to provide additional resources for students, including after-school activities, supplies, and college tours. Givers can choose from four ornament colors, with donations ranging from $10 to $100. The personalized ornaments will be added to the organization’s Christmas tree, benefiting three schools. To give back by purchasing an ornament, visit their website.

Midsouth Arts Against Hunger Food Drive

Give back while enjoying a showing of the hit holiday movie, Elf. The Orpheum Theater along with the Memphis arts community will host the third annual Midsouth Arts Against Hunger food drive. The proceeds will benefit the Mid-South Food Bank. As part of the food drive, the Orpheum will welcome guests for the screening, along with a special visit from Santa. For more information on how to donate or attend the screening, visit their website.

Porter-Leath’s Annual Toy Truck Drive

Help Porter-Leath fill their toy truck! This year, the goal is to fill it with enough toys to serve 5,900 local, low-income children, all under age 5. Toys should be new and unwrapped; for ideas on what to donate, visit their toy ideas page.

Memphis Athletic Ministry’s Annual Christmas Store

Memphis Athletic Ministry (MAM) is helping families prepare for the holidays with their annual MAM Christmas Store. Your donation will help give selected parents and guardians a gift card allowing them the opportunity to shop at Target, alongside MAM staff, to provide their kids a memorable Christmas. The event will be held on December 11.

MIFA’s Holiday Giving

MIFA encourages givers to shop local and donate to a senior through their holiday giving initiative. The organization offers a few options to give back, including their annual Holiday Cards, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, and donating senior care packages.  The seasonal gift will make a year-long impact as MIFA’s goal is to help seniors and families with basic needs to stay in their homes.

Salvation Army’s Angel Tree

Adopt an angel for this long-standing holiday giving tradition, to make sure a local child has gifts for Christmas. Earlier this month, The Salvation Army kicked off it’s 30th Angel Tree program. This year the program will partner and align with local agencies to fulfill registrations for the Angel Tree gifts and year-round follow-up. To adopt an angel, visit their website for more information.

For volunteer opportunities in Memphis visit Volunteer Odyssey and Volunteer Memphis.

What is your favorite way to give back during the holiday season? Let us know in the comments!