Volunteer opportunities abundant over the holiday season

VANCOUVER — With the holidays upon us, it is a time for giving thanks, joy, self reflection and also a time when many folks hope to give back to those who may need a little extra boost.

Around Clark County, there are numerous different organizations and groups that people can volunteer with to help give back this holiday season. One of those places, right in the Vancouver area, is Share.

According to Share’s website, www.sharevancouver.org, “Share’s mission is to lead the hungry and homeless to self-sufficiency by providing food, shelter, housing, education, advocacy and compassion through the strength of our community. Share envisions a community without hunger, where all people have safe and adequate housing and the skills to enhance their quality of life.”

Share Vancouver has numerous volunteer needs over the holidays
Volunteer opportunities are endless with Share Vancouver during the holiday season. Volunteers are needed to help with Holiday Parties through the Holiday Cheer Program, help accept and sort donations in the warehouse and more. Photo courtesy of Share Vancouver

Share provides a variety of services, from shelters for individuals and families who experience homelessness and a Hot Meals program that provides free meals to the public, to an Individual Development Accounts savings program to buy a home, car or pursue education, or Lincoln Place, a 30-unit permanent supportive housing apartment complex.

What does Share Vancouver do?

Here are some statistics, from the Share website, showing what Share accomplished in 2015:

  • 1,290 people served at Share shelters and through their partnership with the Winter Hospitality Overflow program
  • 800 individuals accessed Share Outreach services
  • 89,942 free meals to the public served through the Hot Meals program
  • 3,750 volunteers gave their time in support of Share programs, totaling 33,468 hours — equal to $772,106 of service to the organization
  • Share ASPIRE (the transitional and permanent housing program) served an average of 138 households each month
  • 506 people were served through Share’s Housing & Essential Needs program
  • 66,700 bags of food were provided to 1,850 children, and their families, at 90 schools through the Backpack Program, plus 10 Fresh Food Pantries opened
  • 25,265 free meals to children served through Share’s Summer Meals program
  • Share’s Individual Development Accounts Program has 74 current savers
  • During the holiday season (in 2015), 385 families were adopted, 895 guests attended Share’s holiday parties and 14,484 gifts were distributed

Along with all of the services and programs that Share offers to the community come a variety of ways for community members to volunteer, especially during the busy holiday season.

“We have lots of volunteer needs over the holidays,” said Dellan Redjou, director of volunteers and community resources. “We also are always in need of volunteers to help with meals.”

If you are looking for some ways to volunteer and give back this holiday season, here are some volunteer opportunities that are specific to the holidays.

Volunteer at Share’s Holiday Parties

Every year, as a part of Share’s Holiday Cheer Program, Share holds a few different Holiday Parties for individuals and families. The Holiday Party for Single Adults will be Mon., Dec. 19, from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and there will be two different times for the Holiday Party for Families on Wed., Dec. 21, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or noon-5 p.m.

Anyone will be volunteering for the Holiday Parties is required to attend on the Volunteer Orientation sessions on either Mon., Dec. 5, 10 a.m. or 6 p.m.; or Sat., Dec. 17, 2 p.m. A volunteer application must first be filled out and submitted before you can volunteer at one of these events, if you are not already a Share volunteer. The application can be found here.

Community members can also contribute to the Holiday Cheer Program over the holidays by donating new gifts for the Share Holiday Parties; adopting a family (Share recently announced that all of their families have been adopted for the 2016 Holiday Cheer Program); organizing a Giving Tree at your business, club, church or office; or fill a holiday food box for a family or individual.

To find out more details about the Holiday Cheer Program, visit http://sharevancouver.org/share-holiday-cheer-program/.

Volunteer to help in the Share Warehouse over the holidays

Share’s volunteer needs in the warehouse grow tremendously over the holiday season as a part of the Holiday Cheer Program. Volunteers are needed to accept adopt-a-family delivers and Giving Tree deliveries; receive, sort and put donations away; drivers are needed to deliver gifts to ASPIRE families; volunteers are needed to help set up for holiday parties and more.

Here are some upcoming dates and times when volunteers are still currently needed during the month of November and December for holiday-related help:

  • Share Vancouver has numerous volunteer needs over the holidays
    Those wishing to give back this holiday season can choose from a number of volunteer opportunities through Share Vancouver, including helping with Holiday Parties through the Holiday Cheer Program and more. Photo courtesy of Share Vancouver

    Tue., Nov. 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (flexible hours): Decorate the Share Fromhold Service Center

  • Dec. 6-16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (two-hour shifts): Greeter for Front Counter, accept donations and take to warehouse
  • Tue., Dec. 6, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (three to three and a half-hour shifts, flexible hours): Volunteers needed to accept adopt-a-family deliveries
  • Wed., Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (three to three and a half-hour shifts, flexible hours): Volunteers needed to accept adopt-a-family deliveries
  • Thu., Dec. 8, 8-10 a.m.: Backpack Program volunteers; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (three to three and a half-hour shifts, flexible hours): Volunteers needed to accept adopt-a-family and Giving Tree deliveries
  • Fri., Dec. 9, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (three to three and a half-hour shifts, flexible hours): Volunteers needed to accept Giving Tree deliveries
  • Sun., Dec. 11, noon-5 p.m. (three to five hour shifts, flexible hours): Volunteers needed to accept adopt-a-family and Giving Tree deliveries
  • Mon., Dec. 12, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (three to three and a half-hour shifts, flexible hours): Receive donations, sort and put away
  • Tue., Dec. 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (three to three and a half-hour shifts, flexible hours): Receive donations, sort and put away; Drivers needed to deliver gifts to ASPIRE families, mostly 5-8 p.m.
  • Wed., Dec. 14, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (three to three and a half-hour shifts, flexible hours): Shopping for Share House residents; receive donations, sort and put away; Drivers needed to deliver gifts to ASPIRE families, mostly 5-8 p.m.
  • Thu., Dec. 15, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (three to three and a half-hour shifts, flexible hours): Shopping for Share Homestead residents; receive donations, sort and put away; drivers needed to deliver gifts to ASPIRE families, mostly 5-8 p.m.
  • Fri., Dec. 16, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (three to three and a half-hour shifts, flexible hours): Shopping for Share Orchards Inn residents; receive donations, sort and put away; set up for holiday parties
  • Mon., Dec. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Volunteers needed to assist at adult holiday party, Santa elf (helping clients fill out wish lists), warehouse elf (shopping for items on wish lists), snacks and beverages, hats, gloves and hygiene items, runners, loading gifts into client vehicles
  • Tue., Dec. 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Volunteers needed to clean up classrooms and set up for family holiday party
  • Wed., Dec. 21, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or noon-5 p.m.: Volunteers needed to assist with family holiday party, kids crafts, kids games, Santa elf (helping clients fill out wish lists), warehouse elf (shopping for items on wish lists), snacks and beverages, Santa helpers, hats, gloves and hygiene items, runners, loading gifts into client vehicles
  • Thu., Dec. 22, 10 a.m.-noon: Volunteers needed to clean up classrooms

For those interested in volunteering with the Hot Meals program, visit http://sharevancouver.org/share-hot-meals/.

For more information about Share, what services they offer, locations and volunteer opportunities, visit http://sharevancouver.org/. To fill out a volunteer application before volunteering for any of these different programs and opportunities, visit http://sharevancouver.org/volunteer/. For more information on volunteering, contact Dellan Redjou at (360) 952-8228 or email volunteers@sharevancouver.org.

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