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Holiday Volunteer Opportunities in the Greater Pittsburgh Area

Holiday Gift Giving & Toy Drives


Bring some joy to Pittsburgh area families this Christmas by donating gifts through one of these wonderful holiday gift programs:

Christmas Gifts for the Homeless

Light of Life Ministries works hard to turn what is often the loneliest time of the year for the homeless of Pittsburgh into a happy holiday. You can help them help the needy with your gifts. Choose a gift tag (or several) with a special wish list for an individual, or contribute in the form of gift cards or cash. They are also in need of Christmas wrapping paper and large gift bags. They ask that you don't wrap the gifts so that they can match the appropriate gift and size with each person on their list.

Presents for Patients

Since 1984, Presents for Patients has rallied gifts and visits for almost 200,000 patients in hospitals and nursing facilities stretching from Erie, PA to Morgantown, WV. Volunteers at Presents for Patients Headquarters will match you with the patient or facility you prefer. If you express no preference, then you will be matched with the nearest unmatched patient or facility. Once you buy your gift, you then get to personally deliver the present to your patient! If you would like to participate, but are just too busy, you can choose to contribute money instead, in which case a Presents for Patients volunteer will buy, wrap and deliver your gift to the patient.

Community Human Services Holiday Gift Drive

More than 300 children and adults in the Pittsburgh area benefit from this annual holiday gift drive. CHS seeks donations of gift cards, presents and cash contributions and provides many opportunities for individuals, families and groups to become involved, including everything from contributing a food basket or adopting a family or individual.

Toys for Tots

A nationwide campaign administered by the U.S. Marine Corps, Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys in collection boxes positioned at local businesses to provide Christmas presents for needy children. The Pittsburgh area campaign, run by only nine active-duty Marines, annually distributes over 300,000 toys to over 50,000 children in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Toy donations are collected through December 24, and there is a special need for toys for the 10-12 age group. Follow the link to find contact information for a local coordinator near you.

Treasures for Children

Formerly known as the Angel Tree program, the Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania's Treasures for Children program provides toys for more than 65,000 children, over 25,000 of them in Allegheny County. Needy families apply for toy assistance at their local Salvation Army Worship and Service Center. "Treasures for Children" gift tags are then made up for each registered child with their name, age and gender and are distributed to participating churches, businesses and social organizations. Donors select a tag and purchase a toy for the child. These gifts are collected unwrapped to ensure appropriateness and safety and are then distributed by the Salvation Army to the children of Western Pennsylvania. You can also request an Angel online and receive your match via email through JCPenney Angel Online.

Goodfellows Toy Fund

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Goodfellows Holiday Toy Fund was founded in 1947 for one simple purpose - to make sure every child receives a toy for the holidays. They accept monetary donations only, which support the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program (described above). What's especially neat about this toy fund drive are the personal stories of the families shared in the Post-Gazette between Thanksgiving and Christmas, along with the published lists of individuals and groups who have donated to Goodfellows.

Holiday Menorah Mitzvah

Help the Jewish Community Center of South Hills make a child’s holiday brighter, happier and more hopeful by donating an age-appropriate new and unwrapped gift and placing it in the designated box in our lobby. Gifts will be accepted through November 30 and will be taken to The Squirrel Hill Food Pantry (a program of Jewish Family & Children’s Services) on December 1 in time for Chanukah distribution. Suggested Gift Items: Toys, Clothing, Books, Dolls, Art Supplies, Small Electronics, Rattles. For more information: Ann Haalman, (412) 278-1975, ext. 204.

Gifts for Children of Incarcerated Parents

Lydia's Place in the uptown section of Pittsburgh needs volunteers to donate toys and gifts for the children of incarcerated parent(s)this season. For gift list, contact Jean Harvey at 412-391-1013.

Cooperative East End Ministry Christmas Gift Program

Each year, East End Cooperative Ministry collects and distributes gifts for more than 700 EECM clients and their families – but they can’t do it alone! Individuals, groups, and congregations are invited to provide gifts for an individual or family and/or volunteer to help with sorting and distributing gifts. EECM also runs a year-round Gift of Hope program in which you can make a donation to help feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and support the youth in honor of someone special.

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. Tax-deductible contributions to the Holiday Toy Program can be made payable to HSCC Holiday Toy Program and mailed to 519 Penn Avenue, Turtle Creek, PA 15145.

Next page > Holiday Gift Wrapping for Charity

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