‘Tis the season of presents and shopping. However, taking time out from your busy holiday schedule to volunteer or donate to an important cause is an important part of the season as well. In Minnesota, many organizations are working overtime to help keep everyone fed and sheltered over the holidays. Contact any of these organizations to find out how you can help.
Feed My Starving Children
401 93rd Ave. N.W.
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
During the holidays, when food is over consumed and presents are given in abundance, over thousands of children are dying from hunger daily. Feed My Starving Children is a Minnesota-based organization that works year-round to feed children and families around the world and throughout the United States as well. With three packing locations in Minnesota, volunteers are needed daily to help package food and prepare food packs to be shipped where they are needed. All age groups can participate in this opportunity and groups are welcome to come and spend a fun afternoon giving back.
Salvation Army Of Minnesota
Central Worship and Service Center
2727 Central Ave. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55418
What better way to give back than to be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army? The red kettles are one of the most recognizable and charitable events that occur over the holidays, providing money to shelter and feed the homeless in the community. Bell ringers are always needed to serve two-hour shifts throughout the state and wish shoppers a Merry Christmas. Bell ringing season starts in November and runs through Christmas Eve. Take two hours out of your hectic holiday and ring a bell for the community.
Second Harvest Heartland
1140 Gervais Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55109
Stocking food shelves, soup kitchens and homeless shelters in the Southern Minnesota area, Second Harvest Heartland is dedicated to hunger relief. If time is not a commodity this season, you can still help by donating money or non-perishable foods to the Second Harvest organization. With several drop-off locations and even a pick-up service, helping out may not cost you a ton of time. Volunteers are also appreciated to help stock and deliver food to those in need. Check out the many ways you can help out the community this year by contacting Second Harvest.
Hats For The Homeless
Several Drop-off Sites
What started as a small group of church ladies knitting hats for a homeless shelter has turned into a state-wide project throughout the holiday season. Several charity knitting events are held starting in early October to get hats made for the homeless population in Minnesota. Surviving the Minnesota winter is hard and can be made a bit more comfortable with a hat made with love. Patterns are available on the website for anyone with a pair of needles and the desire to make someone’s winter a little warmer. Adult large and extra large hats in dark solid colors are the most-needed items and can be dropped off through most metro yarn shops. This year, Hats for the Homeless has a goal of providing 1,600 hats. Help them reach this mark!
ARC’s Value Village
6528 Penn Ave. S.
Richfield, MN 55423
Donate or shop at your local ARC’s Value Village and help support adults and children with disabilities. ARC is a non-profit organization that has thrift stores throughout Minnesota that support programs for disabled Minnesotans. Along with the Richfield location, an ARC Value Village is found in New Hope, St. Paul and Brooklyn Center as well. Donations are accepted at the stores through convenient drive-up donation areas or blue boxes outside of the stores and around the state. Shop or donate this year to help support these important programs.
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.