The holiday season is all about giving and receiving, so why not give a few hours of your time to help someone else this year? It’s the best time to volunteer, making sure that everyone can feel the spirit of the season. Here are a few of the best places to volunteer during the holidays and make a difference.
LA Food Kitchen
230 W Avenue 26
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Dedicated to re-purposing food waste and turning it into useful and nutritious meals for others, The LA Kitchen is a great option for volunteering this holiday season. Also offering a 15-week culinary training program for eligible, unemployed employees, which provides hands-on vocational and life skills, as part of the program, students volunteer at St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, turning ingredients into snacks and portions of meals that will feed the needy. Additional volunteers are always welcome. Register, and sign up on the L.A. Kitchen website for upcoming dates in December.
LA Regional Food Bank
1734 E 41st St
Los Angeles, CA 90058
The L.A. Regional Food Bank needs all hands on deck for the holiday season, and they’re eager for volunteers to join their forces. With a mission to fight hunger in the community and a vision that no one will go hungry, the food bank sources, acquires and distributes food and other products to those who need it most. How can you help? Sign up for a session of sorting, inspecting and packaging non-perishable foods. The food bank welcomes individuals or larger groups who want to devote a few hours to the organization’s impressive mission of feeding thousands of people during the year.
Door of Hope
669 N Los Robles Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101
Helping homeless families rebuild their lives through a variety of initiatives, Door of Hope’s work is dependent on the assistance of volunteers, many of whom are involved with picking up donations, cooking meals for families, cleaning, tutoring children in the program or leading life skills courses. Some of the volunteer jobs require training or screening, both of which will be determined following completion of a short application. Your help would be an integral part of getting a family back on its feet.
7412 Fulton Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91605
With all of the fruit trees in yards across L.A., it’s inevitable that each season, there will be fallen goods that go uneaten. The folks at Food Forward organize picks across the city to snag surplus produce from local yards, as well as collecting from farmers markets. There are also opportunities to scout locations, work in the office or help make products on food production days. Their goal is to bring people together in the unifying mission of reducing food waste and helping to solve urban hunger. Volunteers are always welcome, and all you have to do is contact them to make a difference today.
No-Kill Los Angeles
In a city full of animal lovers, it is no surprise that No-Kill L.A. has a team of volunteers who support their cause of providing abandoned animals with loving homes. The initiative is run by Best Friends Animal Society, which works with several rescue organizations to bring the number of euthanized animals to the lowest levels the city has seen by 2017. Volunteers are part of event staffing, animal care and playtime, street team promotions, administrative work, and more. There are opportunities all across the city for those interested. Volunteer today and help save the lives of those innocent animals that don’t have a voice.
Chrystal Baker is a freelance food and events contributor for CBS
Los Angeles and Basil Magazine. She is the co- editor of a recipe
blog, The Duo Dishes, as well as her personal lifestyle blog, Any and Everywhere.