Ways to Volunteer this Holiday Season

It is that time of year again to be with family and friends, and give back to those in need.

While many donate food or money to charities to help people out, many nonprofits say volunteering is just as helpful as donations.

However, some nonprofits say some people struggle to find ways to volunteer.

"They also get stuck on when they hear the word give back and they think its financial so they are almost afraid to look into other opportunities like volunteering,” said Shaye Smith, Marking Director for the Children’s Volunteer Health Network.

For those who want to volunteer during this holiday season, you still have time.

"The angel tree program, as we receive the gifts and helping with sorting them and preparing them we need several volunteers,” said Lieutenant Chris Welch, of the Salvation Army. “Especially on the distribution date, we need to get those toys to the family.

"First find out what you are passionate about, if someone doesn't know what they are passionate about, then I would just look up nonprofits in the area,” said Smith. “Between Okaloosa and Walton counties there are hundreds of local nonprofits."

Volunteerism doesn't have to end with the holidays.

"People don't realize serving on some type of committee to volunteer,” said Smith. “Event committees, committees that round up volunteers, some that plan runs and other fundraisers that help these organizations. That is just your time and giving back."

Sometimes time is the best gift.

The United Way can also help you find a charity or nonprofit that could use your help.

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