10 Portland Charities that Need Volunteers for the Holidays

 1. Portland Rescue Mission

Since 1949, Portland Rescue Mission has provided crucial services for men, women, and children who are hungry or homeless or are facing addiction, loneliness, and pain. The holidays mark a tough time for men, women, children, and families dealing with hardships, and by volunteering at the Portland Rescue Mission, your time and dedication can make the holidays memorable. If you are interested in volunteering with the Portland Rescue Mission and its seven locations this holiday season, contact them today! 

[Portland Rescue Mission]

2. YWCA of Greater Portland

As the oldest and largest women’s organization in the nation, the YWCA works to empower women and their families to achieve safety, opportunity, and independence. The YWCA of Greater Portland has been serving Portland for over 100 years and continues to provide life-changing services and champion social change. If you would like to make a positive impact on individuals and families served by the YWCA this holiday season by volunteering to staff workshops, organizing and leading events, maintaining the Y Share houses, representing the YWCA at community events, spending time with seniors, and much more, contact the YWCA of Greater Portland and make the holidays special!

[YWCA of Greater Portland]

3. Metropolitan Family Services

For 60 years, Metropolitan Family Services has been helping individuals who face hardships due to inadequate education, health issues, social isolation, unemployment, and poverty. Metropolitan Family Services brings together the power of the elderly and the youth to create a community of hope, equality, and respect. Volunteer this holiday season at MFS and be a part of the Holiday Cheer where you can bring the holiday spirit into the homes of more than 200 isolated older adults in North, Northeast, and Southeast Portland. You can also wrap hundreds of donated gifts as a volunteer, or you can deliver gifts to homebound or isolated adults throughout December and provide them with quality time.

[Metropolitan Family Services]

4. Oregon Food Bank

The Oregon Food Bank serves Oregon and Southwest Washington with the mission of eliminating hunger and its root causes. While family time during the holidays includes plenty of food stacked on dinner tables, there are too many individuals and families going hungry. The Oregon Food Bank works to provide nutritious food for everyone facing hunger, build community power through grassroots movements, and works with policies and programs that deal with equality, equal housing, employment, health care, and more. Holiday volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank includes packing food, distributing nutritious meals within the community, making phone calls, lobbying, and more!

[Oregon Food Bank]

5. Oregon Rail Heritage Center

If you are interested in volunteering in a different capacity this holiday season, you should contact the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. The Oregon Rail Heritage Center provides the preservation, operation, and enjoyment of Portland’s historic locomotives. This includes equipment and artifacts as well as education about Oregon’s railroad history. All aboard this holiday season with volunteer opportunities ranging from docents, train crews, mechanical department, and the exciting Holiday Express Ground Crew and Holiday Express Car Hosts.

[The Holiday Express]

6. Toy and Joy Makers

Founded in 1914 by the Portland Fire and Rescue, Toy and Joy Makers is a local toy drive helping local families in need during the holiday season. From repairing toys to collecting or purchasing and distributing toys to children, Toy and Joy Makers work hard to uphold its motto of “Every Child Deserves a Christmas.” Toy and Joy Makers also provides gifts for children that have been victims of fires, accidents, and natural disasters. With over 10,160 children assisted and 40,816 total toys given out during 2020, Toy and Joy Makers can use your help during the holiday season by distributing thousands of gifts to children.

[Toy & Joy Makers – Portland]

7. Meals on Wheels People

Meals on Wheels People was founded in 1969 with the goal to bring meals to seniors and provide social support and human connection. The holiday season can be a lonely time for seniors who find themselves without family or friends. Delivering meals and offering quality food with quality time is a gift that is priceless, and by volunteering for Meals on Wheels People, you can make someone incredibly happy this holiday season. Contact Meals on Wheels People if you are interested in becoming a Meals on Wheels Driver, participating in the Friendly Chats program to provide socialization and human connection for seniors through a friendly phone conversation, or assisting in making structured safety calls to homebound seniors to check-in regarding their well-being. Your gift of time will be much appreciated.

[Meals on Wheels People]

8. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and SW Washington

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and SW Washington provide access to medical care, housing, and a compassionate community at no cost to the families they serve. Since 1984, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and SW Washington has opened its doors to families in need, and they continue to provide the utmost care. The holiday season is a time for family gatherings, so when a child spends time away from home, the holidays can be trying. You can help the Ronald McDonald House by volunteering your time as a smiling face for families, answering phones, preparing meals, leading activities, and much more.

[Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon & SW Washington]

9. Blanchet House

Since 1952, Blanchet House has been providing food, clothing, and transitional housing for people in need. The holidays are a challenging time for homeless or hungry individuals lacking basic needs for survival. Building compassion, dignity, hope, and a sense of community is key to the Blanchet House mission, and you can volunteer during the holidays by serving meals and drinks, sorting clothing, prepping ingredients, packing care kits, being a guest chef, and more. 

[Blanchet House]

10. Potluck in the Park

Potluck in the Park has been serving the homeless in Portland since 1991 thanks to numerous organizations and volunteers. Every Sunday, Potluck in the Park serves warm meals and you can make the holidays special by volunteering to serve meals, organize meals, and offer respect and dignity for the homeless. Enjoy the gift of giving!

[Potluck in the Park]

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