Volunteering to serve a meal to the less fortunate is a great way to give back this holiday season. (Photo credit: Dave Sampson, Mariners Inn).

The season of giving: Detroit nonprofits need holiday volunteers

As the saying goes, it is better to give than to receive. The holiday season is a great opportunity to give back to those in need. While monetary donations are key for nonprofits, these organizations also depend on volunteers who are willing to donate their time and service. Broderick Tower residents – if you have some extra time to spare over the next few weeks, consider volunteering for one of the many deserving nonprofits in the area.

I recently volunteered to help serve a meal to the men at the Mariners Inn, a shelter and substance abuse treatment center for homeless men of Southeast Michigan. The experience was heartwarming in so many ways. Not only was it rewarding to help others, but it was a great opportunity to get to know the other volunteers in my group – and we had a great time!

The need is great in many areas throughout the City of Detroit. Here are just a handful of the many organizations that could use your helping hands this holiday season:

Mariners Inn: Volunteers are needed to help with a wide range of activities, from serving food to tutoring clients, to doing yard work and sorting the clothing closet. Contact volunteer coordinator Portia at phardrickbrown@marinersinn.org. (Note: volunteers are needed to fill positions after Jan. 2).

Salvation Army Eastern Michigan: Volunteer to ring a bell at a Salvation Army Red Kettle, serve a meal, help out with youth activities and much more. Visit www.salmich.org or www.registertoring.com/salmich for available shifts and to sign-up.

Forgotten Harvest: Volunteers are needed to re-pack fresh nutritious food destined for the table of those in need. Volunteer to work on warehouse re-packing or help prepare holiday food boxes. To sign up you can register online or contact volunteer manager Marci Fitch at mfitch@forgottenharvest.org.

Gleaners Community Food Bank: Help with packing food, staffing a special event or program, or assist with office work. For a list of current opportunities click here.

Focus HOPE: Help pack and deliver food for local senior citizens, tutor a student or help with neighborhood revitalization efforts. For more information email volunteer@focushope.edu.

Do you know of another local organization looking for holiday volunteers? Add it in the comments or tell us about your own volunteer experience!


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