Volunteer Opportunities in the Twin Cities

Give Back This Thanksgiving: Volunteer Opportunities in the Twin Cities

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many residents of the Twin Cities are looking for ways to give back and help others in the community. But the truth is, organizations need help all year round.

I always try to volunteer regularly at local nonprofits. Some of my favorites are on Arbor Day, where you can plant trees in your local community, and of course offer the holidays where I like to raise money for the Salvation Army. Volunteering just a few hours a month can make a big difference!

Statistics show that volunteering not only benefits the organizations and causes you serve, but also provides health and wellbeing benefits.

Volunteers have lower rates of depression, increased life satisfaction, and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Additionally, research shows that volunteering can help you expand your social network and learn new skills. When we give our time to help others, we’re also helping ourselves!

Now, here are some great volunteer opportunities to consider this holiday season and year-round:

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Meals on Wheels

Help deliver hot meals to homebound seniors through Meals on Wheels, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger.

Volunteers can sign up to drive routes and deliver meals, with shifts ranging from an hour to a few hours.

There are also opportunities to make food in the kitchen at their preparation centers. Meals on Wheels serves the Twin Cities metro area, as well as Greater Minnesota.

Volunteer with Local Shelters

Many shelters provide warm meals and beds for those in need, especially during the holidays.

Organizations like the Salvation Army and People Serving People accept volunteers year-round to help serve meals, organize donations, provide childcare, and more.

With multiple locations across Minneapolis and St. Paul, volunteers can find a shelter close to home.

I personally love ringing the bell for the Salvation Army red kettle campaign every year – it’s a simple way to spread joy and help a great cause. Plus the money raised helps out the program all year long.

Pack Food at Food Banks

Food banks like Second Harvest Heartland and Twin Cities Mobile Market see a surge in clients around Thanksgiving and rely on volunteers to sort, pack, and distribute food donations.

Several nonprofits, like The Sanneh Foundation and Joyce Uptown Food Shelf, hold annual food drives leading up to Thanksgiving. No prior experience is necessary, just willingness to help.

The time commitment is flexible, with 2-3 hour shifts available.

Deliver Groceries with Open Arms

Open Arms provides nutritious, free meals and groceries to those living with life-threatening illnesses.

Volunteers can help deliver groceries right to clients’ doors, providing a valuable service to those who may be unable to shop themselves due to health concerns. Deliveries take place across the metro area.

Help all year long

While Thanksgiving and Christmas get a lot of attention for volunteering, organizations need help all year round.

So if the holidays are booked up, consider making a monetary donation or volunteering your time after the season ends.

Helping our community by giving our time and resources is important year-round.

The gift of your time and compassion can make a big difference for people facing food insecurity, illness, homelessness and other challenges.

There are so many great organizations doing impactful work in the Twin Cities, and they rely on volunteers to accomplish their missions. This Thanksgiving, give the gift of service by getting involved in your community.

Activities range from meal prep and delivery, to packing and distributing groceries, to providing administrative help behind the scenes.

With many opportunities to choose from, Twin Cities residents can find a volunteer activity well-suited to their location, availability, and interests this Thanksgiving season. The gift of time and compassion can make a big difference for community members facing food insecurity, isolation, and other challenges.

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