In Los Angeles and communities throughout the United States, the holiday season is a popular time to volunteer. Several local programs and organizations provide volunteer opportunities during the holidays and beyond.
[caption id="attachment_5516" align="alignnone" width="620" caption="Courtesy of Union Rescue Mission."][/caption] In Los Angeles and communities throughout the United States, the holiday season is a popular time to volunteer. Several local programs and organizations provide volunteer opportunities during the holidays and beyond. This list features some of the more popular organizations that attract volunteers. Stack food at the L.A. Regional Food Bank Every Saturday from 9am to 12pm, volunteers sort, stack and shelve food items at the second largest food bank in the country. The food gets distributed to any place with folks hungry for the holidays, ranging from large homeless shelters to small daycare programs. The food bank requires that all volunteers bring a signed release form available on their website. Cook dinner at the Union Rescue Mission On Monday and Tuesday nights, volunteers cook and serve dinner to the residents of the shelter, which include families, children and single men and single women. Volunteers take on shifts that allow them to work and enjoy a meal from 5:45pm to 8pm. The dress code is strict: participants in the kitchen cannot wear shorts, mini skirts, shirts that show midriffs, sleeveless tops, tight or see-through clothing, open-toed shoes, or dangling earrings. Volunteers must sign and bring a Union Rescue Mission Volunteer Application, available on the mission's website. Wrap gifts at Barnes & Noble with For Women Only, Inc. Until Dec. 19, volunteers wrap books and other gifts for patrons at Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica. Donations from patrons for this service will support college-bound foster youth in the organization's Passport to Life Resource Walk-In Center. Participants in the program must commit to a 2-4 hour shift during the following time frames: Thurdays-Fridays 10am to 8pm and and Sundays-Thursdays 9am to 9pm. Build wheelchairs with UCP Wheels for Humanity Volunteers give the gift of refurbished wheelchairs on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm at UCP Wheels for Humanity's 10,880-square-foot warehouse in North Hollywood. The nonprofit directs volunteers on how to dissemble, clean, lubricate and then reassemble a wheelchair with replacement parts. UCP Wheels for Humanity suggests that those participating wear closed toe shoes and pack a sack lunch. Play with dogs and cats at the Friends of Animals Foundation Participants spend their Saturday getting acquainted with furry friends at the no-kill rescue shelter from 11am to 1pm. Volunteers walk and help socialize dogs, along with feeding cats and cleaning their living spaces. The foundation requires that participants wear comfortable clothing and closed toed shoes. Facebook Tweet Linkedin Pinterest Google + Interested in becoming a Contributor?