‘Tis the season for holiday cheer and holiday parties, funky Hanukkah sweaters and even funkier Hanukkah gifts from your great aunt or your office secret snowflake. Even though everyone loves socks, scarves, and Starbucks gift cards, why not consider making this time of year more about giving gifts instead of getting them? Here are 18+ amazing opportunities to give back this winter – which one will you choose?
- DC Central Kitchen Volunteering and Brunch with Moishe House Capitol Hill: Sunday, December 17th
- Doing Good with JFE at N Street Village: Sunday, December 17th
- Patricia Handy Place for Women Volunteering with YP@AI: Sunday, December 17th
- So Others May Eat (SOME) – Join Adas Israel at SOME on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 19th!
- Hunger Action – EDCJCC hosts monthly opportunities to make food to be donated to DC Central Kitchen .
- Local food kitchens: DC Central Kitchen, Martha’s Table, Miriam’s Kitchen, Food and Friends
For those great with Bubbes:
- D25 Day of Service: Monday, December 25th
- Spend your Christmas Day with the EDCJCC giving back to the local DC community before hitting the movie theater and eating Chinese food.YP EVENT: There’s a special Columbia Heights-based session for young professionals through EntryPointDC that you can find here. These YPs will be visiting low-income and food insecure seniors through We Are Family DC. If this D25 activity doesn’t sound like you, be sure to check out the other D25 volunteering options including the Cookie Drive going on now through December 23rd!
For the super crafty:
- Pre-D25 Gift Wrapping: Wednesday, December 13th or Sunday, December 17th
- Going to be out of town for the EDCJCC’s D25 Day of Service? Contribute in advance by putting your best gift-wrapping skills to work!
- Wrap gifts with “We Are Family”: Wednesday, December 20th
For animal lovers:
- Want to cuddle with cute dogs and cats, help them find forever homes, foster, or even adopt them?
For Northern Virginians:
- Wreath Laying at Arlington National Cemetery: Saturday, December 16th
For those with really busy schedules:
- Coat Drive with ThriveDC: Drop off between January 8th and January 11th
- ThriveDC helps those facing homeless across DC. You can contribute anytime by providing a warm coat to a person in need through their winter coat drive.
- Capital Area Food Bank at Giant
- Headed to Giant to buy canned beans for your famous chili? Buy an extra can for the food bank and drop it off in the collection cart on your way out of the store.
- A loyal Safeway customer instead? Make a small donation at the register to help provide food for residents in need.
For those with volunteering in their New Year’s Resolutions:
Consider becoming a committed volunteer in 2018 at one of the organizations below.
- Miriam’s Kitchen, Volunteer Orientation on Friday, December 15th, one shift/month
- DC Books to Prisons, Volunteer Orientation on 3rd Wednesday of the month (Wednesday, December 20th)
- Teens Run DC, Volunteer application and orientation required
- Big Brother, Big Sister, Volunteer application required, commitment of 1 get-together per month
- Reading Partners DC, Volunteer orientation and background check required, 1 hour per week commitment
For those who live through their phone calendars (I’m right there with ya), here’s a list fit for that “Add to Calendar” button:
December 13th, 6:30-8 pm: Pre-D25 Gift Wrapping at the EDCJCC
December 16th, 8-11 am: Wreath Laying at the Arlington National Cemetery
December 17th, 8:45 am-12 pm or later: DC Central Kitchen Volunteering and Brunch with Moishe House Capitol Hill
December 17th, 11:45 am-1:30 pm: Doing Good with JFE at N Street Village
December 17th, 1:30-3:30 pm: Pre-D25 Gift Wrapping at the EDCJCC
December 17th, 6:30-8:45 pm: Patricia Handy Place for Women Volunteering with YP@AI
December 20th, 5-8 pm: Wrap gifts with We Are Family
December 25th, 10 am-2:30 pm: D25 Day of Service with EntryPointDC
January 4th, 7-9 pm: Hunger Action for DC Central Kitchen at EDCJCC
About the Author: Shira Cohen is a part of our “Gather the Bloggers” cohort of talented writers who share their thoughts and insights about DC Jewish life with you! When not writing about volunteer opportunities in DC, she works in student life and disability services at a local law school. Originally from Charleston, SC, Shira loves DC Library $1 book sales and District Taco.