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Holiday Volunteer Opportunities in the Greater Pittsburgh Area

Giving Thanks By Giving Back to the Community


The volunteer spirit in Pittsburgh around the holidays is beautiful to behold. Volunteer positions to help set up, serve and clean the holiday meal at area missions and shelters on Thanksgiving Day actually fill up by early October. There are many other days in the holiday season, however, and many more ways in which you can assist those who need a little helping hand.

Holiday Meals for the Homeless

The Social Services Department of the Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania needs volunteers to help with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners sponsored by local hotels for needy individuals and the homeless in the days before and after Thanksgiving and Christmas (none are actually served on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day). The Salvation Army also sponsors four county-wide dinners and also individual community dinners at the Worship and Service Centers. Visit the website to sign up online as a volunteer or learn more.

Salvation Army Red Kettles

Only have an hour or two to volunteer? The Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania is constantly in need of bell ringers to stand outside local merchants and ring the bell for donation to help the needy. The Salvation Army raises most of its money through Christmas Kettles and your help could go a long way toward making the holiday season a little brighter for thousands of families in your area.

Light of Life Ministries

Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Good Friday meals are served at the Mission, and volunteers also deliver hot meals to over a dozen local senior citizen and low-income high-rises on Thanksgiving Day. Volunteers are needed to help greet guests, serve and clean up after the meal, and assist with deliveries. Thanksgiving volunteer positions fill up very quickly. Call in September or early October to help on Thanksgiving Day. Don't forget that people need help every day, however! Breakfast and dinner are served Sunday through Saturday for the homeless and needy at Light of Life. Volunteers must be age 12 or older. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteer online to help with Light of Life meal ministry.

Treasures for Children

A partnership of The Salvation Army and the greater Pittsburgh community, Treasures for Children collects Christmas gifts for more than 25,000 children in Allegheny County each year. Hundreds of volunteers are needed to sort toys and distribute toy tags throughout the month of December.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

It may not sound glamorous, but the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank could really use your help with sorting, inspecting & boxing food donations, especially food salvaged from Giant Eagle grocery stores. You can also help out at any of their 350 agencies - food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters - through which food is distributed to the most vulnerable people in our area. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, download a volunteer packet or contact the volunteer coordinators by email or phone (412) 460-3663 ext. 301.

Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis

Volunteer to participate in this fun filled 5k run/walk held in North Park on Saturday, December , 2008. Over 700 participants are expected to join in the spirit of the holidays and run/walk for those who cannot. The family oriented race includes participants in costumes, clowns, and Santa Claus. Even if running isn't your thing, volunteers are needed to help with office work and other positions!

Toys for Tots

Would you like to be one of Santa's Elves this Christmas? Then join Toys for Tots and help distribute toys to thousands of needy children. The U.S. Marine Corps seek volunteer Santa Elves to help distribute toys to parents of children at the several distribution sites across Western Pennsylvania.

HSCC Holiday Toy Program

The Human Services Center Corporation works with over 50 agencies and corporations throughout Southwestern PA to make the holidays brighter for over 5,000 children living throughout the Mon Valley region of Allegheny County. Volunteers needed to donate gifts and conduct "Angel Trees" in their respective offices, as well as help collecting, sorting, and picking up toys. This is a great opportunity for a group community service project. All ages are welcome.

Next page > Donating Christmas Toys and Gifts

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