Experience the joy of volunteering!
December 6, 2021
This is the ideal time of year to give back to your community, help others have a joyful holiday season, and teach your kids the value of giving to others. Whether you wrap presents, cook, or shop for others, there is always something you can do to help. We’ve lined up some volunteer opportunities near a few of our own Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods communities; take a look and find your place to help!
Information gathered from The O’Colly at Oklahoma State University (ocolly.com)
Contact Stillwater Area United Way for more information.
109 E. Ninth Ave.
Sheri Carter | 405.377.2161
904 W. Eleventh Ave.
The Group Homes need volunteers to help at their residents' Christmas party on Dec. 15. This organization supports developmentally disabled adults; residents also enjoy receiving cards and gift bags.
Stillwater Domestic Violence Services
115 E. Fourth Ave.
The Domestic Violence Services is looking for volunteers and donations for the women and children in the shelter. They need folks to help wrap gifts and fill stockings for individuals recovering from abusive situations.
Payne County Youth Services
2224 W. Twelfth Ave.
Payne County Youth Services hosts a holiday adopt-a-family program. Volunteers will shop for a family and give them a holiday they may not otherwise have. Donated items are due Dec. 16.
Angel Tree is another program where you can shop for a family. Salvation Army has Angel Trees in both Stillwater-area Walmarts. Each angel ornament on the tree lists suggested items for a family in need, usually including sizes for clothing, but ultimately you get to choose the gifts. Many local churches also sponsor Angel Trees.
Stillwater Humane Society
1710 S. Main St.
The Humane Society has a similar program for pets if dogs and cats tug at your heartstrings. They welcome dog shampoo or cat toys for animals without homes. Or if you’re looking to buy a pet for a present, check the Humane Society first. Make sure the adults in the household approve the pet purchase!
The Salvation Army Corps Social Service
1101 S. Lowry St.
The Salvation Army does tremendous work during the holiday season. The agency needs help with a gift and food distribution on Dec. 20. Or you can also get into the holiday spirit by bundling up and ringing bells outside local businesses as part of the Salvation Army fundraiser.
The American Red Cross
114 W. Eighth Ave.
The Red Cross is busy this time of year with blood drives and connecting with military families. December is the No. 1 month for surgery, and the Red Cross has a dire need for blood donations. You can help by donating blood or volunteering at donation sites. The Red Cross also works to send care packages overseas to military personnel and set up phone calls and video conferences between servicemen and women and their families.
In Oklahoma City and surrounding areas
Gathered from MetroFamily magazine. Contact each local organization for more information.
Feed the Children’s Teacher Store
333 N. Meridian Ave., Oklahoma City | 1.800.627.4556
This store provides books and supplies to teachers in Title I schools across our state free of charge. Your family can help sort and stock shelves with essentials for the classroom or spend time in the warehouse filling boxes with food and essentials that will be delivered to families in need.
City Rescue Mission
800 W. California Ave., Oklahoma City | 405.232.2709
The mission hosts an annual banquet on Christmas Day and always needs volunteers for that event. Or help in the toy store where homeless parents shop for Christmas presents for their kids. The Food Resource Center needs helpers to organize a neighborhood collection for food, toys, gifts, or year-round needs like socks and underwear.
Center for Children and Families
210 S. Cockrel, Norman | 405.364.1420
The Center for Children and Families provides the hundreds of children they serve with gifts and families in need with essentials during the holidays. Your family can adopt a child’s wish list and shop for gifts, donate $25 gift cards that will be used to purchase kids’ clothing, or conduct a drive for toys, books, gift cards, and warm weather essentials that will help bring joy to those having difficulties this holiday season.
The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital
6800 N.W. 39th Exp., Bethany | 405.789.6711
Be a holiday helper and collect items the hospital uses the most, like baby shampoo or the 5,000 diapers used each week as well as books, music, and toys to support patients in special education and therapy sessions. Families can also adopt a patient this holiday season and shop from a wish list of individualized needs.
5728 S. May Ave., Oklahoma City | 405.634.2006
Sharing Tree is open year-round, stocked with clothing, household items, and necessities for children and families in need. Laid out like a department store, Sharing Tree customers can enjoy a dignified shopping experience at no cost. Volunteers sort donations, stock shelves, hang coats and clothing and complete a variety of other tasks.
Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child
Fill a shoebox with gifts, hygiene items, school supplies, and a personal note and photo. Samaritan’s Purse uses those treasures to communicate with millions of children around the globe that someone cares for them. Your family can assemble one or more boxes and drop them off at one of the local drop-off locations that can be found at samaritanspurse.org. You can also build a box online or mail your boxes to headquarters if you miss the national collection week.
Citizens Caring for Children’s Joy 4 Kids event
730 W. Wilshire Creek Blvd., Suite 112, Oklahoma City | 405.753.4099
Just before Christmas, Santa’s helpers (that would be you and your family) are hard at work preparing some wonderful surprises. Through this program, thousands of gifts are collected for Oklahoma foster kids, and volunteers are needed to help at the gift drop-off location. Families can help collect, sort, and organize the donations to ensure gifts make it to their important final destination by Christmas morning.
The Salvation Army
1001 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Oklahoma City | 405.236.1101
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities with The Salvation Army in November and December. Families can help with Thanksgiving Day festivities at The Salvation Army Chesapeake Energy Center of Hope or donate a turkey for the community meal. Sign up to participate as a bell ringer, adopt an angel from an Angel Tree or organize a toy drive at your local school, business, or church. Other volunteer opportunities include providing, preparing, and serving an evening meal in The Salvation Army Red Shield Diner; assisting clients with their groceries in the Client Choice Food pantry; and spending time with seniors at one of their five senior centers.
Santascause.com | 405.550.2431 | 405.642.6038
Santa’s Cause is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization providing an anonymous last-minute response to children’s letters to Santa that would otherwise go unanswered. They receive most of their requests after other organizations offering help at Christmas have completed their season. Volunteers are needed each year to wrap gifts and dress in a provided Santa suit to deliver gifts to families, as well as set-up and break-down of the warehouse. Visit their website to find out more about how you can help.
There are tons of other ideal volunteer opportunities where you can give your time and serve those in need right in your own Ideal community. Many opportunities don’t involve money, just time and a willingness to serve. Other ways you can help… donate nonperishable food, prepare food, and serve at community dinners, donate pet food or foster a pet, sit with patients in a hospice or check with a local church to see if any of their parishioners need specific help. We hope your family can experience the joy and blessings of true giving this holiday season!