Don't be a "Grinch" this holiday season. Instead, spread some holiday cheer by volunteering with a local organization.
Donate funds and food to a worthwhile cause or get your hands dirty and help facilitate a charity event.
Below are some opportunities to help your neighbors in need.
Food and Friends: Food and Friends provides more than 3,000 meals a day to clients facing life-challenging illnesses. They need volunteers to deliver food to the 5,600 homes they serve. Volunteers also package and prepare food. They have a variety of volunteer needs between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3.
Washington DC Jewish Community Center: The Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service organizes a day of service each year on Christmas. Over 1,000 volunteers are needed to serve meals, sing carols, visit home-bound seniors, throw holiday parties, play games and deliver holiday cheer to those in need.
The Holiday Project: This organization facilitates visits to people in nursing homes and hospitals in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. Volunteers can provide companionship to those who would otherwise be without during the holiday season.
Alexandria Holiday Market: Want to man a wine bar for a good cause? Wine not! This year’s holiday market in Alexandria raises money and collects food donations for Hunger Free Alexandria. Volunteers must be 18 and up.
Lucky Dog Animal Rescue: Animals like being home for the holidays, too. Lucky Dog is in need of additional foster parents for their pups. If you’d like to welcome a dog into your home for the holidays, head to their website and apply to be a foster dog mom (or dad).
DC Central Kitchen: Prepare food in the kitchen and provide balanced meals to people without homes. Head to their website to find open shifts. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to volunteer. You can also donate funds or food to the cause.
Adopt-a-Family Program: The holiday program is run by the Jewish Social Service Agency and matches volunteers with families who cannot afford presents for their kids.
Capital Area Food Bank: Host a digital food drive or help sort and pack thousands of pounds of food that will be distributed to needy neighbors. Either way, Capital Area Food Bank needs your help. Addressing hunger is a year-round gig.
Dreams for Kids: Dreams For Kids D.C. is a charity that provides programming for children with physical and developmental disabilities. It hosts an annual Holiday for Hope celebration that provides underprivileged children and their families with a holiday meal and gifts. You can also donate funds directly to the cause.