12 Days of Manual: Volunteer service opportunities

‘Tis the season of giving when all through the town, all creatures were stirring, there was not one frown. The volunteer flyers were hung around the school with care, in hopes that the students soon would be there.

With the holiday season among us there is no better time to get involved and volunteer in the local community. There is a multitude of shelters and places to volunteer, you can participate in collection drives or even go out for one day events. Some volunteer services are part of national campaigns and others are very community-specific.

Winter break is a particularly great time to give back to the community because students have so much extra time. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

duPont Manual National Honor Society (NHS)

In the upcoming week NHS will be sponsoring a foster care Christmas party. In order to volunteer for this unique opportunity you need to be a member of NHS and sign up on their SignUpGenius. This will give you a chance to go and hang out with young children and relive the elementary school holiday parties we all loved.

duPont Manual Spanish Honor Society (SHH)

This year SHH is sponsoring a collection drive for La Casita. They are collecting food and clothing items to donate to the immigrant families in Louisville. If you would like to participate in this collection drive it is not necessary that you be part of SHH; however, SHH members do receive volunteer hours for the drive. If you have items to bring in or need more information you can visit Mr. Hite or Mrs. Lenihan.

JCPS Clothing Assistance Program (CAP)

CAP is located in the Central High School football stadium in downtown Louisville. On Dec. 9 they will be hosting a “Take what you can tote” volunteer day. While this event is CAP sponsored, it will be located at 319 South 15th St from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. At this event volunteers will help people shop around for clothing and uniforms for school. For more information on this event and more, click here.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is part of a national organization but has its own Louisville branch. They will be accepting toys and gifts until Dec. 20. Babies R Us and Toys R Us will be accepting donations through Dec. 14. Toys for Tots provides gifts to less fortunate kids and families in the local area. It is sponsored by the Marines and they hope to foster a sense of hope in the hearts of local youth.

Soup Kitchen

St. Vincent de Paul Louisville’s Open Hand Kitchen staff provides two meals per day for each visitor in need; St. Vincent de Paul invites the public to volunteer in the Open Hand Kitchen, their food pantry on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and other departments of their organization. Call (502) 301-8688 for more information about the specifics of when and how you can get involved at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville during this holiday season.

The Franciscan Kitchen, located at 748 South Preston Street, is another organization to which you could donate your time: the kitchen staff consists of volunteers ranging in all ages, backgrounds, faiths and more who perform the daily tasks that allows the kitchen to operatefrom cooking to serving to restocking to even driving to pick up donated goods. If you’re interested in lending your time to the Franciscan Kitchen, you can contact the group at (502) 589-0140 or directly fill out the volunteer registration form here.

Salvation Army

As one of the classic staple groups of volunteering, The Salvation Army may likely come to mind when you think of giving up your time during the holidays. The service-based organization has several chapters across the country, including one headed with a multitude of opportunities in Louisville. You can sign up directly for particular volunteer events with the Louisville chapter here, enabling you to start bell ringing outside of various storefronts to collect monetary donations or serving hot meals to people in need.

My Dog Eats First

At My Dog Eats First, Inc., their mission is to provide food for the dogs of homeless people in the community. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult, but that should not deter anyone from seeking to volunteer for this Louisville-based group. You can get involved with their “Waggle Wednesday” program to begin making a difference. If you are an animal-lover and a person who cares about humanitarian efforts, My Dog Eats First, Inc. is the perfect organization with which you can volunteer.

State Farm App

While there is a plethora of volunteer opportunities in the Louisville area, it may still be difficult to find the exact cause or organization that may best fit your hopes in making a contribution to your community. A relatively new initiative, insurance group State Farm’s online Neighborhood of Good project will match eager volunteers and their particular interests with specific organizations and events in or around their zip code. Non-profit groups register with State Farm’s All for Good database, which allows the insurance provider to streamline a list of opportunities right in the prospective volunteer’s own neighborhood.

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Olivia Evans is one of the Editors-in-Chief of RedEye this year. She is very passionate about her community volunteering. She is a member of NHS, SHH, and Beta Club. She is also a varsity athlete on the track and field team at Manual and aspires to go D1. When she isn’t behind a computer editing stories, she can be found in the gym grinding. You can contact her at [email protected] or @ome0258.