Local organizations to volunteer with before winter break

Media Credit: Grace Hromin | Senior Photo Editor

The Capital Area Food Bank, located in the Michigan Park neighborhood, hosts dozens of volunteer opportunities each month.

Give back to the D.C. community this holiday season by volunteering at local organizations before you head out of the city for winter break.

With the end of the semester in sight, you might find yourself with extra time on your hands to be able to give back to the community before heading home for the holidays. Consider volunteering your time and energy to some of these organizations this holiday season.

Charlie’s Place – Dupont Circle
Established in 1990, Charlie’s Place works year round to provide services like free bagged and hot meals, clothing distribution, medical care and haircuts to people experiencing homelessness in D.C. Charlie’s Place accepts volunteers, especially for early morning shifts, to assist in handing out and serving food to guests and to help collect and sort donated clothing supplies. A site supervisor will walk you through anything they need assistance with that day.

Food and Friends – Queens Chapel
As a nonprofit social services organization, Food and Friends delivers thousands of meals each week to DMV residents living with chronic illnesses that make it hard to access the nutritious meals they need. From Dec. 18 to Jan. 8, Food and Friends is looking for volunteers to help prepare and package meals for distribution. If you have access to a car or even a bike, you can also volunteer to deliver meals to clients across the DMV, with an average delivery route including six to 10 households.

A Wider Circle – Silver Spring, Md.
This nonprofit organization is focused on supporting people transitioning out of homeless shelters or out of domestic violence situations by donating household goods and furniture. A Wider Circle also works to mitigate poverty in low-income neighborhoods by providing financial management counseling, employment mentoring and housing search support. If you’re looking to volunteer in person, you can assist in sorting furniture and household items for distribution.

Students with expertise in job searches might consider volunteering virtually on group counseling workshops to guide job seekers through topics like networking. You could also make a remote volunteer impact by encouraging peers to collectively participate in the toy drive by simply ordering items from the nonprofit’s Amazon wishlist and having them delivered to A Wider Circle, which will distribute them to children in low-income situations.

Capital Area Food Bank – Fort Totten
From direct food distribution and educational resources on nutrition to cultivating gardens and mitigating the effects of food deserts in D.C., the Capital Area Food Bank works to create equitable food access in the city. The nonprofit is always seeking vaccinated volunteers to assist at its food distribution centers, gardens and through its grocery delivery system. Check out its calendar for a comprehensive list of upcoming volunteer opportunities this month.

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