It’s been another challenging year for Las Vegas, and nonprofit groups around town are in need of donations and volunteers. If you’re looking to match your skills to their needs but don’t know where to begin, check out VolunteerMatch.org. The site allows you to type in your ZIP code and then select from dozens of opportunities near you. Or if you prefer the brick-and-mortar volunteer approach, the following organizations are a great place to start.
Help Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada serve Christmas Day dinner to individuals and families Dec. 25 at 1501 Las Vegas Blvd. North. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old, and those ages 12 to 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Catholic Charities also needs volunteers for its Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Foster Grandparent Program, Senior Companion Program and other year-round programs, as well as volunteers for general office help, and clothing and pantry sorting. Monetary and food donations are always welcome. Go to CatholicCharities.com to learn more.
Easter Seals of Southern Nevada
Easter Seals of Southern Nevada works to help people with disabilities and special needs to become self-sufficient. The organization is in great need of volunteers during December to help with its holiday outreach. Volunteers can assist with holiday parties for the clients, deliver pre-packaged holiday gift baskets or participate in the many activities held during the month of December. Call 870-7050, or visit EasterSealsSN.org to learn more.
Goodwill of Southern Nevada
Goodwill provides education, employment and training for people across Southern Nevada. With the area’s 14 percent unemployment rate, Goodwill’s mission is more important now than ever. You can help by simply cleaning out your closets, bookshelves and kitchen cabinets and donating the items to Goodwill. The sale of the donated items funds Goodwill’s job placement program, which has helped nearly 1,000 people in Southern Nevada find jobs this year. Go to SNGoodwill.org for a list of more than 30 drop-offs around town.
For 18 years the Magical Forest has been lighting up the holidays in Las Vegas, thanks to Opportunity Village, a nonprofit group that helps people with intellectual disabilities. All proceeds from the Magical Forest go to benefit the 3,000 people that Opportunity Village serves. The organization relies on 70 to 90 volunteers a night to keep the seasonal celebration running through Jan. 1. Individuals and small groups are invited to show up at the Magical Forest at 5 p.m., and the staff is happy to have those 18 and older help work. Large groups should call in advance, 880-4081.
Don’t feel like ringing a bell and physically collecting money for Salvation Army’s Red Kettle program? Now you can do it virtually. Go to SalvationArmyLasVegas.com to start your own virtual collection, or join an existing team. The money you raise goes to provide meals, clothing and toys for families in need.
Three Square works with a variety of community partners to serve wholesome food to the hungry in Clark County. They accept food and monetary donations. For every $1 that the organization receives, Three Square is able to provide three meals to a person in need. Volunteer at Three Square by packing meals for Valley children, sorting and inspecting donated food or helping out with special events and clerical work. Children younger than 10 are needed to help create appreciation/inspiration cards. To learn more, go to ThreeSquare.org/how-to-help.
United Way of Southern Nevada
United Way of Southern Nevada’s Volunteer Center has a variety of holiday (and year-round) volunteer opportunities to fit a range of interests and ages and benefiting numerous area charities. Adopt a Family with HELP of Southern Nevada wrap and distribute gifts to children with Reindeer Rock 2010, serve meals in a soup kitchen and more. United Way is looking for people with different talents, from quilters to muralists and more. Find out how to get involved at VolunteerCenterSN.org.