Volunteering During the Holidays

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The last few years have been different from any other years that come to mind. With the pandemic, social distancing and general “off feeling”, the holidays have not felt the same for me or my family. This year, I find myself struggling with that same struggle to find holiday cheer even though I have so much to be thankful and happy for in my life. I’ve done a lot of talking with friends and thinking about past experiences and as today is International Volunteer Day, serving others is heavy on my mind today. 

volunteering during the holidays

For several years, I worked as a hospice Volunteer Coordinator and had the honor of working alongside many volunteers who gave of their time to spend time with patients who lived out their final days often with total strangers. I learned so many valuable lessons from my patients and also from my volunteers.  If you are like me and are looking for a way to give back this holiday season, I’m working on a few ideas for volunteer opportunities right here in the upstate. 

Hospitals

Most hospitals have a volunteer program and often have a wide range of activities that volunteers can help with.  Prisma, St. Francis, Spartanburg Regional all have volunteer programs, it starts with a quick call to the hospital of your choice! 

Hospice

 While this may not be the perfect fit for everyone, I personally have a soft spot in my heart for those who can carve out a few minutes of time to spend with patients either at home or in a hospice house setting. 

If you’re interested in volunteer opportunities, here are a few options to contact:

Crescent Hospice Greenville  

Hospice of the Upstate

Homestead Hospice Greenville

Want to get the kids involved? Have them color pictures, make cards or crafts? Most hospice volunteer programs will either have a junior program or will work with you if you child wants to donate things they’ve made like crafts or cards. 

kids drawing for hospice patients

Greenville Area Parkinson Society

The Greenville Area Parkinson Society works to provide community education and to support those in the community with Parkinson’s. They have numerous programs and events along with several opportunities to volunteer. 

Food Banks

Food banks always need help but especially this time of year.  There are several food banks across the upstate area. Here are a few below : 

Loaves and Fishes

Harvest Hope Food Bank

Greer Community Ministries

Meal on Wheels

Meals on Wheels of Greenville provides meals to so many individuals in the Greenville area and they utilize volunteers for meal delivery. I have personally taken routes before for MOW. The connections made with the individuals meals were delivered to was a wonderful experience. 

Habitat for Humanity 

Habitat for Humanity of Greenville offers several different options for volunteering including admin, home building, working around the Restore stores, etc.You can get involved individually, as a group or as an organization. 

 

During this holiday season, take the time to look into volunteer opportunities for this season and all year long. Use today as a jump start for your family. Get yourself and those kids into the spirit of giving back and showing kindness to others in our world. 

 

 

 

 

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