8 places to volunteer for the holidays in Calgary

Dec 7 2016, 7:15 pm

Written for Daily Hive by Portia Yip

Christmas is quickly sneaking up on us this year and Calgarians only have a few more weeks to prepare for the holiday season. If you’re in the mood to make a difference this year or have some extra time on your hands, consider giving back to the community by volunteering.

Volunteers can help out at a variety of local nonprofits and organizations during this busy and festive time of year. Have a place in mind that isn’t listed here? Contact the organization directly and see if they need a helping hand or two.

Women’s Centre

This year the Women’s Centre is looking for volunteers for its Toy Room program. Women and children receive newly purchased gifts through the program and volunteer duties include picking up donations from community organizations and delivering the items back to the centre. Interested volunteers should have a valid driver’s license and the ability to lift heavy boxes. Visit the website for more information.

Calgary Opera

Support the Calgary Opera and its annual holiday tradition at this year’s show, Christmas at the Opera from December 8 to 11. A few volunteers are needed to help with tea, coffee, and the bar along with the bake sale. Proceeds from the bake sale go towards the opera’s Emerging Artist Program. Check the website for more information on dates and available positions, or contact [email protected].

Calgary Food Bank

The Calgary Food Bank is looking for volunteers to help out at many fundraising events all throughout December. Positions include accepting non-perishable items at the donation desk, writing tax receipts, selling baked goods, or acting as marshals for the Amble with Angus Fun Run. Check the website for dates, hours, and more information.

Cross Iron Mills

Cross Iron Mills is seeking volunteer gift wrappers to assist early (or late) holiday shoppers between December 9 to 24. Proceeds go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Southern Alberta where its mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Check out the volunteer opportunities website, call them at 403-228-3666 or email [email protected] for more information. opportunities 

Distress Centre

For a fun and impactful volunteer experience, the Distress Centre is looking for people who love to cook and make connections. Become a Christmas Meal Hero this year and help create a special holiday feast for the crisis line volunteers between December 24 to January 1. Families or corporate employees are welcome to come out and volunteer in a group. Contact [email protected] for more information or check out the volunteer opportunities website.

Market Collective

Spread the cheer with Market Collective and get involved with the much-loved MC community as it continues to showcase talented artisans, designers, and musicians. A few positions are still up for grabs and each volunteer will receive a T-Shirt, limited edition MC tote bag, $10 MC gift certificate, and vouchers for food and the photobooth. Visit the website to view available shifts or contact [email protected].

Youth Central

Volunteering is open to all ages and at Calgary’s Youth Central, there are plenty of opportunities for youth to take part in shaping their community. As an incentive to help support as many organizations as possible this December, the $50 annual registration fee will be waived for the first 25 youth who complete 25 volunteer hours. Current volunteer projects include working with seniors, gift wrapping shifts, and helping out at special events including Christmasville and Once Upon a Christmas. Visit the website for more information and to register as a volunteer.

Closer to Home

Working together with the staff at Closer to Home, volunteer gift shoppers are needed to help purchase gifts for low-income families in Calgary and area for the annual Adopt-a-Family initiative. Volunteers with access to a vehicle will help staff review a family’s holiday wish list and complete or return purchases. Shifts are available from one to four hours from now until December 22. Contact [email protected] or check the website for more information and the volunteer application form.

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